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Bernadette Jansma, Ph.D.


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Brain and Language, please contact me for details.


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Bernadette is interested in how the human brain processes language. In the Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (M-Bic) she is member of the Brain and language lab

We conduct fundamental research on how humans extract meaning from incoming sounds and how we transfer ideas into open articulation. Focus is on dynamics of this process in terms of speed and contextual change. We work with healthy volunteers to understand normal functions of language. We also work with atypical readers, and with children with metabolic diseases to understand problems in speaking, listening and reading. Imaging methods are fMRI (including high field 7T), EEG, and Ecog. We collaborate with engineers to apply machine-learning techniques in brain data analysis, and with educational and medical experts in language disorders.

We transfer our skills to the next generation of experts in Psychology and Neuroscience at BA, MA, and PHD level and learn from them every day. 

Research interests

2008 - now Full Professor Cognitive Neuroscience of Language, Member of the Brain and language lab  


2016 - 2018 Dean of the Faculty of Humanity and Sciences (FHS), Maastricht University,

The Netherlands (responsible for 300 fte scientists and support, 1800 students, 42mio budget)


2009 - 2016 Dean of Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands  (responsible for 270 fte scientists and support, 1600 students, 25 mio budget)


2008 - 2010 Director of the Graduate program Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Neurophysics” and NWO pilot graduate program “Methods in Neuroimaging”


2008 - 2016 PI Brain and Language group, Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (M-BIC), FPN


2004 – 2008 Head of the department Cognitive Neuroscience


2006 - 2009 Director of the international Research Master

Program “RMA Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience”


2002 – 2008 Associate Professor, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Maastricht University (NWO Aspasia Project Group: Pronouns in language processing)


1998 – 2002 Assistant Professor, Department of Neurocognition, Maastricht University


1997 – 1998 Postdoc researcher, Department of Cognitive Science, UCSD, USA, funded by McDonnell Pew and DAAD (German academic exchange): Time course of information processing in language production estimated by electrophysiological measures (ERP, LRP, N200) (Mentor: Marta Kutas)


1993 - 1997 PHD student Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Dissertation (12/1997, University of Nijmegen): Lexical access in the production of ellipsis and pronouns. (Supervisors: W.J.M. Levelt, A.S. Meyer, R. Goebel).


1993 (6 months) Research Fellow

Cognitive Anthropology Group, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Experimental and statistical support for a cross-linguistic project on the linguistic and nonlinguistic coding of spatial arrays.


1988 – 1993 MA. (top 10%) Cognitive Psychology, Technical Univeristy Carolo-Wilhelmina, Braunschweig, Germany. Major 3/1993: Experimental and Cognitive Psychology Thesis: Entdeckbarkeit von luminanten und isoluminanten Texturen in retinaler Exzentrizität. [Perception of luminant and equiluminant textures in retinal excentricity.] (Supervisor: D. Vorberg, R. Goebel).


1991-1993 Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, Carolo-Wilhelmina University of Braunschweig. Reaction time research on visual attention mechanisms.



Fellowships and Grants


10/2019 – 9/2020 Galactosemia Foundation, proof of concept grant (together with Estela Rubio, MUMC/Grow, Teresa Schuhman, FPN/CN (25k)


12/2009 – 11/2013 Marie Curie Initial Training Network “NeuroPhysics” (EU FP7, people), author and initiation coordinator (~3 Mio Euro., 2 postdocs, 10 PHDs)


1/2010 – 12/2012 NWO Pilot graduate program “Methods in Neuroimaging” in the context of cognitive and clinical neuroscience, author and initiation coordinator (~800k Euro, 4 PHDs)


3/2009 NWO Brain and Cognition symposia:

Neurochemistry modulation of Cognitive functions in galactosemia (Rubio, MUMC, Jansma, FPN, ~10k Euro)


9/03 – 8/06 DFG (Deutsche Forschungs-Gemeinschaft, German research foundation) “The conceptualisation of events investigated with functional imaging methods” (Münte, Jansma, 2 PHD positions).


7/02-7/07 NWO (Dutch research foundation), ASPASIA, Project: The neural selection of words investigated by event-related brain potentials (ERP), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and source analysis (Jansma – maiden name Schmitt, 1 PHD position)


1/01-12/03 NWO, bilateral cooperation NWO (Dutch research foundation) - DFG (German research foundation), Project: Interaction of semantics, syntax and working memory during pronoun processing investigated by temporal and spatial neuroimaging [EEG, MEG, fMRI] (Jansma– maiden name Schmitt, Münte, 1 PHD position).


9/00 – 8/02 DFG (Deutsche Forschungs-Gemeinschaft, German research foundation) “Interaktion of semantics, syntax, and working memory during pronoun processing investigated by temporal and spatial neuroimaging (Münte, Jansma– maiden name Schmitt, 1 PHD position).


3/98 – 2/03 DFG (Deutsche Forschungs-Gemeinschaft) Schwerpunkt “Sprachproduktion”, Teilprojekt “Elektrophysiologische Untersuchungen bei der Sprachproduktion (Münte, Schmitt, und Clahsen) [German

Research Society, Grant “Speech production”, Project “Electrophysiological investigations of speech production”, 2 PHD positions]


9/97 - 8/98 McDonnell-Pew Center of Cognitive Neuroscience Toptalent Postdoctoral Research Fellow grant (~25k Euro), and DAAD (Deutscher akademischer Austauschdienst, German academic exchange service (~25k Euro) Excellence postdoc fellowship.


9/96 - 8/97 Visiting Fellow, Max Planck Society.


9/93 - 8/96 Ph.D. Stipend, Max Planck Society (full stipend).

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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