As the newest member of MindAffect, it is time to introduce myself. I am Mark, born and raised in a small village in the east of the Netherlands, and currently living in Nijmegen. During my youth I loved tinkering with all kinds of electronics and computers, something I now enjoy doing at MindAffect.
So what brought me here? Throughout my Bachelor’s degree artificial intelligence (AI) in Groningen, my interest in cognitive neuroscience grew and I decided that I wanted to pursue a career that combined both AI and neuroscience. After having finished my bachelor’s thesis on decoding decision evidence from intracranial EEG data, it was time to look further. It was around that time that I came across MindAffect for the first time. Both the research done by the AI department in Nijmegen and MindAffect inspired me, and made me decide to move to Nijmegen for a master’s in AI with a strong focus on cognitive neuroscience.
When it was time to search for an internship and place to do my thesis project, I contacted the company that had contributed to my decision to move to Nijmegen. Since then, I have been part of the team. In the first few months of my internship I learned how to work with the hardware and software involved in brain computer interfacing and how to successfully run EEG experiments. With this newly gained knowledge I was ready to start my master’s thesis.
During my thesis, I explored the feasibility of using electromyography (EMG) to create a patient tailored human computer interface (HCI), with the goal to provide patients suffering from various motor neuron diseases with an alternative form of interaction with their environment. To do this, we developed a novel technique to extract maximum potential from the diminishing amount of voluntary muscle control during the disease progression. Contrary to conventional approaches to EMG classification we were able to not use a predetermined set of controls, but determine a patient specific set instead.
Now, roughly a year after starting my internship, and a few months since graduation, I am happy to be working for MindAffect. It is definitely something that I hoped, but never expected when I came across MindAffect 2 years ago.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Mark van Kesteren