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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.  


Holmes, E.A., Ghaderi, A., Eriksson, E., Lauri, K.O., Kukacka, O.M., Mamish, M., James, E.L. & Visser, R.M. (in press). “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.

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. pdf

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

To go to the ‘Emotional Disorders and Mental Imagery’ group page click here

For a complete list of Holmes group publications click here