Michiel van Elk

Michiel van Elk, post-doc

Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience
Brain-Mind Institute
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Station 19, SV 2805
1015 Lausanne, Sw

phone: +41 21 693 1771
fax: +41 21 693 1770
e-mail: [email protected]

Research Interests:
Embodied Cognition, Enactivism, Action Semantics, Tool Use

EEG, fMRI, combined EEG-fMRI

Education and Academic appointments

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Marie Curie Post-doctoral fellow (supervisor: O. Blanke) 2010 – present


Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience (Cum Laude; supervisor: H. Bekkering) 2006 – 2010

M.Sc. in Psychology of Culture and Religion 2002 – 2005


Utrecht University, the Netherlands

M.Sc. in Biological Psychology 2004 – 2006

M.A. in Philosophy (Cum Laude) 2003 – 2005


van Elk, M., Slors, M. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Embodied language understanding requires an enactivist paradigm of cognition. Frontiers in Psychology 1:234. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00234

van Elk, M., Crajé, C., Beeren, M.E.G.V., Steenbergen, B., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Neural evidence for compromised motor imagery in right hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Frontiers in Neurology 1:150. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2010.00150

van Elk, M., Crajé, C., Beeren, M.E.G.V., Steenbergen, B., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Neural evidence for impaired action selection in right hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Brain Research 1349, 56-67. 

Craje, C., van Elk, M., Beeren, M.E.G.V., van Schie, H.T., Steenbergen, B. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Compromised motor planning and motor imagery in right hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Research in Developmental Disabilities 31(6), 1313-22.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., Neggers, B. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Neural and temporal dynamics underlying visual selection for action.  Journal of Neurophysiology 104(2), 972-83. 

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2010). From left to right: Processing acronyms referring to names of political parties activates spatial associations. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 63(11), 22202-19.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Neural dynamics of semantics for action: N400-modulation reflects the retrieval of concrete semantic information during the preparation of meaningful actions. Biological Psychology 85(1), 134-42.

Stapel, J.C., Hunnius, S., van Elk, M. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Motor involvement during action observation in infancy. Social Neuroscience 5, 451-460.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., Zwaan, R.A. & Bekkering, H. (2010). The functional role of motor resonance in language processing: motor-cortical oscillations support lexical-semantic retrieval. Neuroimage 50(2), 665-677.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., van den Heuvel, R. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Semantics in the motor system: motor-cortical beta oscillations reflect semantic knowledge of end-postures for object use. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 4:8. doi: 10.3389/neuro.09.008.2010.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering (2010). Dorsal stream areas process action semantics. Cognitive Neuroscience, 1(1), 70.

Rueschemeyer, S.-A., Lindemann, O., van Elk, M. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Embodied cognition: The interplay between automatic resonance and selection-for-action mechanisms. European Journal of Social Psychology 39(7), 1180-1187.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2009). Semantic knowledge about objects is supported by functional motor activation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 35(4), 1118-1128.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2009). Short-term action intentions overrule long-term semantic knowledge. Cognition 111(1),72-83.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., Hunnius, H., Vesper, C. & Bekkering, H. (2008). You’ll never crawl alone: Neurophysiological evidence for motor resonance in infancy. Neuroimage 43(4), 808-814.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2008). Semantics in Action: An electrophysiological study on the use of semantic knowledge for action. Journal of Physiology – Paris (102), 95-100. 

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2008). Conceptual knowledge for understanding other’s actions is organized primarily around action goals. Experimental Brain Research 189(1), 99-107.

van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., Lindemann, O. & Bekkering, H. (2007) Using conceptual knowledge in action and language. In: P. Haggard, Y. Rossetti & M. Kawato (eds.) Attention and Performance XXII: Sensorimotor foundations of higher cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 575-599.

van Elk, M. (2007) Cognitive science meets the design plan. South African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 26 (3): pp. 319-328.



Royal Netherlands Academy of Science (KNAW Congressubsidie 2010)

Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (2010)

Human Frontiers Science Program Short-term fellowship (2010)

Stichting de Drie Lichten Research Fellowship (2010)


Journal Reviewer

Acta Psychologica, Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Developmental Psychology, European Journal of Neuroscience, Experimental Brain Research, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers in Psychology, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Journal of Physiology, Neuroimage, Social Neuroscience


Oral presentations and Conference Abstracts

Action Lab West, University of California Santa Barbara, USA, Lab Talk, August 2010

LNCO, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, Lab talk, September 2009

Cognitive Science, 2009, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Talk, August 2009

Cognitive Neuroscience 2009, San Francisco USA, Poster, March 2009

University of Chicago, Lab Talk, March 2009

University of Verona, Italy, Invited Speaker, December 2008.

Donders Discussions, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, The Netherlands, Invited speaker, October 2008.

Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Lab Talk, June 2008

7th Endo-Neuro-Psycho Meeting, Dorwerth, The Netherlands, Invited speaker, June 2008.

NVP Winter Conference. Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, Talk, December 2007.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, Talk, November 2007.

Florida State University, Tallahassee (FL), USA, Talk, October 2007. 

Cognition: Embodied, Embedded, Enactive, Extended. University of Central Florida, Orlando (FL), USA, Talk, October, 2007

NWO Autumn School, Dorwerth, the Netherlands, Poster, October 2007

European Workshop of Movement Sciences (EWOMS), Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Poster, May 2007

NWO Autumn School, Doorwerth, the Netherlands. Poster (granted with poster-award), October 2006

Research Seminar Philosophy of Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen, Talk, September 2006.

NVP Winter Conference. Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, Talk, December 2005.

Pre-emptive Perception Conference, Delmenhorst, Germany. Poster (granted with poster-award) November 2005.