Ellen Voorrips

Research project

The presence of other people can have a big impact on your task performance. Easy tasks that require little cognitive effort are generally facilitated, whereas difficult tasks are hindered. In addition, watching someone else perform on a task facilitates our performance on that same task. Using behavioural and physiological techniques I investigate the role of social interaction on cognitive control.
The current project is specifically focused on whether the degree of cognitive effort exerted by another person can influence your own level of cognitive effort – in other words: is cognitive control contagious?

(funded by FWO; “Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen”)

promotor: Prof. Dr. Eva Van den Bussche (KU Leuven)
co-promotor: Dr. Kobe Desender (KU Leuven)
co-promotor: Dr. Gethin Hughes (University of Essex)


Cognitive Control – Social interaction – Cognitive effort


M.Sc. Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboud University (2019)
B.Sc. Psychology, Maastricht University (2016)

Academic career

PhD Researcher (FWO, 2019 – current)

Internships and research visists

Master internship, Predictive Brain Lab (Donders Institute, Netherlands)
Topic: Development of prediction in the ventral visual stream.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Floris P. de Lange, M.Sc. David Richer.
(August 2018 – July 2019)

Research visit, Multisensory research group (Center for Brain and Cognition, Spain)
Topic: Multimodal sensory processing.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Salvador Soto-Faraco, M.Sc. Leonor Castro.
(September 2016 – December 2016)

Bachelor internship, Neurobiology of social organization (Konstanz University, Germany)
Topic: Olfactory processing within the ant brain.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Christoph Kleineidam, Dr. Arie van der Lugt, Dr. Stefanie Neupert.
(September 2015 – February 2016)


Voorrips, E. S., Richter, D., de Lange, F. P. (2019). Development of prediction in the ventral visual stream. Poster presentation – Synapsium, May, Nijmegen (the Netherlands).

Voorrips, E. S., Kleineidam, C. J., van der Lugt, A., Neupert, S. (2017). Discrimination: An ants persepctive. Oral presentation – Neuri, May, Rijeka (Croatia).

Voorrips, E. S., Kleineidam, C. J., van der Lugt, A., Neupert, S. (2016). Discrimination: an ants perspective. Poster presentation – MaRBLe symposium, June, Maastricht (the Netherlands).


KU Leuven
Brain & Cognition
Tiensestraat 102
B – 3000 Leuven
office: 01.68
email : ellen.voorrips@kuleuven.be