Research and Training
Trained in psychology with a specialization in psychonomics and neuro/biopsychology. Received a PhD in psychology from the faculty of social sciences at Utrecht University. After a short employment as researcher/programmer at Intomart GfK in Hilversum, the Netherlands, started a post-doc fellowship in the Department of Sleep and Cognition at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences. For a while continued this work employed at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Currently employed as an assistant professor both at the Clinical & Health Psychology as well as the Experimental Psychology department of Utrecht University.
Research interests include using different (statistical) techniques to get a more complete and full understanding of clusters in heterogeneous (patient) populations as well as individual patterns of symptoms, individual differences and measurements over time. Furthermore, a strong affinity with programming (proficient in multiple languages) software and website design.
Previous work mainly focused on insomnia. A major part of activities were maintaining surveys and computerized tasks in a web-based assessment system, the Netherlands Sleep Registry (NSR, www.sleepregistry.nl) through which a large group of good and poor sleepers (currently around 13000 people participate) are assessed. This thus created a large database of sleep phenotypes. Classifying these insomnia phenotypes is a first step towards further research on finding biomarkers for this condition.
Currently my focus is on measuring and modifying behavior in different environments.
As an assistant professor I’m involved in supervising master and bachelor students in their thesis work in both the Clinical & Health as well as the Experimental Psychology department. Furthermore, I’m coordinating ‘Experimentation & Registration 1’ in the Psychology bachelor program, ‘Nudging’ in the health track of the Clinical and Health Psychology master program, and ‘Research in a Commercial Setting’ in the Applied Cogtnitive Psychology master program.
Selection of Publications
Diaz, B.A., Van der Sluis S., Moens, S., Benjamins, J.S., Migliorati, F., Stoffers, D., Den Braber, A., Poil, S.S., Hardstone, R., Van ‘t Ent, D., Boomsma, D.I., De Geus, E., Mansvelder, H.D., Van Someren, E.J.W., Linkenkaer-Hansen, K. (2013). The Amsterdam Resting-State Questionnaire reveals multiple phenotypes of resting-state cognition. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 446. pdf
Benjamins, J.S., Hooge, I.T.C., Van Elst, J.C., Wertheim, A.H., Verstraten, F.A.J. (2009). Search time critically depends on irrelevant subset size in visual search. Vision Research, 49, 398-406. pdf
Benjamins, J.S., Van der Smagt, M.J., Verstraten, F.A.J. (2008). Matching auditory and visual signals: Is sensory modality just another feature? Perception, 37, 848-58. pdf