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Renee Visser
Research staff, Emotion group
01223 355 294
I am a post-doctoral Marie Curie fellow working in the Emotional Disorders and Mental Imagery group with Prof Emily Holmes and Prof Rik Henson. As a cognitive neuroscientist with a background in clinical psychology I investigate brain mechanisms underlying the plasticity of intrusive trauma memory. Specifically, by combining behavioural experimentation with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) I seek to gain fundamental insights into the dissociation between voluntary and involuntary emotional memory as well as into procedures that target one of these systems. I am gratefully supported by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Union.

Before joining the CBU I completed my PhD with Prof Merel Kindt and Dr H. Steven Scholte at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In general, I am interested in how cognitive neuroscience can improve mental health care, by informing psychological treatment development and by increasing awareness of the neural processes involved in affective disorders.


Sevenster, D., Visser, R.M., & D'Hooge R. (In press). A translational perspective on neural circuits of fear extinction: current promises and challenges. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

Goodwin, G.M., Holmes, E.A., Andersson E., Browning, M., Jones, A., Lass-Hennemann, J., Månsson, K.N.T., Moessnang, C., Sanchez, A., Van Zutphen, L. & Visser, R.M. (2018). Proceedings “From Neuroscience to Evidence Based Psychological Treatments – The Promise and the Challenge”, ECNP 20-21 March 2016, Nice, France. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 28(2), 317-333. view abstract/ article

Visser, R.M., Lau-Zhu, A., Henson, R., & Holmes, E.A. (2018). Multiple memory systems, multiple time points: How science can inform treatment to control the expression of unwanted emotional memories. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B., 373, 20170209. view abstract/ article

Holmes, E.A., Ghaderi, A., Eriksson, E., Lauri, K.O., Kukacka, O.M., Mamish, M., James, E.L. & Visser, R.M. (2017). “I can’t concentrate”: A feasibility study with young refugees in Sweden on developing science-driven interventions for intrusive memories related to trauma. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 45(2)373, 97-109. view abstract/ article.

James, E.L., Lau-Zhu, A., Clark, I.A., Visser, R.M., Hagenaars, M.A. & Holmes, E.A. (2016) The trauma film paradigm as an experimental psychopathology model of psychological trauma: intrusive memories and beyond, Clinical Psychology Review, 47, 106-142, doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2016.04.010. view abstract/ article.

Visser, R.M., Haver, P., Zwitser, R.J., Scholte, H.S., & Kindt, M. (2016). First steps in using multi-voxel pattern analysis to disentangle neural processes underlying generalization of spider fear. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00222. view abstract/ article

Visser, R.M., de Haan, M.I.C., Beemsterboer, T., Haver, P., Kindt, M. & Scholte, H.S. (2016). Quantifying learning-dependent changes in the brain: single-trial multi-voxel pattern analysis requires slow event-related fMRI. Psychophysiology, 53(8), 1117-1127. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12665. view abstract/ article

Visser, R. M. (2016). The neural dynamics of fear memory. ISBN 9789462954076. Access thesis here

Visser, R.M., Kunze, A.E., Westhoff, B., Scholte, H.S., & Kindt, M. (2015). Representational similarity analysis offers a preview of the noradrenergic modulation of long-term fear memory at the time of encoding. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 55, 8-20. view abstract/ article

Visser, R.M., Scholte, H.S., Beemsterboer, T. & Kindt, M. (2013). Neural pattern similarity predicts long-term fear memory. Nature Neuroscience, 16, 388-390. view abstract/ article

Van Well, S., Visser, R.M., Scholte, H.S. & Kindt, M. (2012). Neural substrates of individual differences in human fear learning: evidence from concurrent fMRI, fear-potentiated startle, and US-expectancy data. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 12, 499-512. view abstract/article

Visser, R.M., Scholte, H.S., & Kindt, M. (2011). Associative learning increases trial-by-trial similarity of BOLD-MRI patterns. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 12021-12028. view abstract/article

Nomura, E., Gratton, C., Visser, R.M., Kayser, A., Perez, F. & D’Esposito, M. (2010). Double dissociation of two cognitive control networks in patients with focal brain lesions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107, 12017-12022. view abstract/article

Prof Emily Holmes, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Prof Richard Henson, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge
Dr Martina DiSimplicio, Imperial College, London, UK
Dr Alex LauZhu, King's College, London, UK
Dr Fritz Renner, MRC CBU, University of Cambridge/ University of Freiburg, Germany
Dr Andreas Olsson, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Dr Lalitha Iyadurai, University of Oxford, UK
Dr Dieuwke Sevenster, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
Prof Merel Kindt, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dr Guido van Wingen, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Prof Arnoud Arntz, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
CBSU publications