prof. dr. N.F. (Nick) Ramsey

Full Professor

  • Neurology & Neurosurgery

prof. dr. N.F. (Nick) Ramsey

Research Programs


Nick Ramsey has a degree in Psychology and a PhD in neuro-psychopharmacology, both from the university of Utrecht (Netherlands). He became a specialist in cognitive neuroimaging in the US (National Institutes of Health), and applies modern techniques, including high-field (7 Tesla) fMRI and intracranial EEG, to questions on working memory, language, and sensorimotor function. His primary goal is to acquire and translate neuro-scientific insights to patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders, with a focus on brain-computer interfacing (BCI). He is full professor in cognitive neuroscience at the department of neurology and neurosurgery of the UMC Utrecht since 2007. He has been awarded several personal grants including a VIDI (NWO, 2002) for elucidating working memory, a VICI (NWO, 2006) and later a European ERC Advanced grant for developing intracranial BCI concepts for paralyzed people. The BCI research resulted in a world-wide first fully implanted BCI for home use, implanted in a locked-in patient with ALS in 2015. Current research aims to develop and implement the next generation BCI implants, for enabling people with communication disorders to speak again. He has co-founded, and is the current President of, the international brain-Computer Interface. He has also been awarded a STW Valorisation grant (phase 1 & 2) for starting a spin-off company (BrainCarta) to provide Clinical fMRI reports to clinicians. He has supervised over 20 PhD students and has (co)authored over 180 peer-reviewed publications.

Research line

Brain-Computer Interface, Human Brain Function, Neurotechnology, Translational Neuroscience

Key publications

 1: Ramsey NF, Salari E, Aarnoutse EJ, Vansteensel MJ, Bleichner MB and Freudenburg ZV (2017) Decoding spoken phonemes from sensorimotor cortex with High-Density ECoG grids. Neuroimage (in press)

2: Bruurmijn LCM, Pereboom IPL, Vansteensel MJ, Raemaekers MAH and Ramsey NF (2017) Preservation of hand movement representation in the sensorimotor areas of amputees. Brain 140(12):3166-3178

3: Berezutskaya J, Freudenburg ZV, Güçlü U, van Gerven MAJ, Ramsey NF (2017) Neural tuning to low-level features of speech throughout the perisylvian cortex. J Neurosci (in press)

4: Vansteensel MJ, Pels EGM, Bleichner MG, Branco MP, Denison T, Freudenburg ZV, Gosselaar P, Leinders S, Ottens TH, Van Den Boom MA, Van Rijen PC, Aarnoutse EJ, Ramsey NF (2016) Fully Implanted Brain–Computer Interface in a Locked-In Patient with ALS. N Engl J Med 375:2060-2066

5: Branco MP, Freudenburg ZV, Aarnoutse EJ, Bleichner MG, Vansteensel MJ, Ramsey NF (2016) Decoding hand gestures from primary somatosensory cortex using high-density ECoG. Neuroimage 147:130-142

6: Vansteensel MJ, Bleichner MG, Freudenburg ZV, Hermes D, Aarnoutse EJ, Leijten FS, Ferrier CH, Jansma JM, Ramsey NF (2014) Spatiotemporal characteristics of electrocortical brain activity during mental calculation. Hum Brain Mapp. 35(12):5903-20.

7: Ramsey NF, Aarnoutse EJ, Vansteensel MJ (2014) Brain implants for substituting lost motor function: state of the art and potential impact on lives of motor-impaired seniors. Gerontology 60(4): 366-72

Side Activities

  • CSO & Founder of startup (unpaid), Braincarta BV

Fellowship and Awards

  • 1: ZonMw 2003-2008 Personal program grant (VIDI)
    2: NWO 2007-2013 Personal Program grant (VICI from STW)
    3: ERC 2013-2018 ERC Advanced personal grant
    4: STW Valorisation Grant stage 1 (2012) and STW Valorisation Grant stage 2 (2013)
    5: ERC 2015-2017 ERC Proof-of-Concept personal grant
    6: GRAVITY Language in Interaction 2015-2019
    7: NWO 2016-2021 STW Perspectief Program ‘NeuroCIMT’, project 8 ‘Sensorimotor Integration in the Human Brain’
    8: EUROSTARS 2016-2019 Project ‘Neurostars’ with 4 SME’s and 2 academic institutions, aiming to develop interactive medical image visualization for doctors (co-applicant)

Research Output (210)

The effect of response frequency on cognitive brain activity during an alertness task

Schouwenaars Irena T, de Dreu Miek J, Rutten Geert-Jan M, Ramsey Nick F, Jansma Johan M 10 dec 2019, In: Neuroreport. 30 , p. 1166-1171 6 p.

Classification of Articulator Movements and Movement Direction from Sensorimotor Cortex Activity

Salari E, Freudenburg Z V, Branco M P, Aarnoutse E J, Vansteensel M J, Ramsey N F 1 dec 2019, In: Scientific Reports. 9

Sensorimotor ECoG Signal Features for BCI Control:A Comparison Between People With Locked-In Syndrome and Able-Bodied Controls

Freudenburg Zachary V, Branco Mariana P, Leinders Sacha, van der Vijgh Benny H, Pels Elmar G M, Denison Timothy, van den Berg Leonard H, Miller Kai J, Aarnoutse Erik J, Ramsey Nick F, Vansteensel Mariska J 16 okt 2019, In: Frontiers in Neuroscience. 13

Brain Activity Associated With Expected Task Difficulty

de Dreu Miek J, Schouwenaars Irena T, Rutten Geert-Jan M, Ramsey Nick F, Jansma Johan M 28 aug 2019, In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 13 10 p.

High-frequency band temporal dynamics in response to a grasp force task

Branco Mariana P., Geukes Simon H., Aarnoutse Erik J., Vansteensel Mariska J., Freudenburg Zachary V., Ramsey Nick F. 6 aug 2019, In: Journal of Neural Engineering. 16 14 p.

Stability of a chronic implanted brain-computer interface in late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Pels Elmar G M, Aarnoutse Erik J, Leinders Sacha, Freudenburg Zac V, Branco Mariana P, van der Vijgh Benny H, Snijders Tom J, Denison Timothy, Vansteensel Mariska J, Ramsey Nick F 27 jul 2019, In: Clinical Neurophysiology. 130 , p. 1798-1803 6 p.

Acute effects of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on resting state brain function and their modulation by COMT genotype

Bossong Matthijs G., van Hell Hendrika H., Schubart Chris D., van Saane Wesley, Iseger Tabitha A., Jager Gerry, van Osch Matthias J.P., Jansma J. Martijn, Kahn René S., Boks Marco P., Ramsey Nick F. 1 jun 2019, In: European Neuropsychopharmacology. 29 , p. 766-776 11 p.

An observation of anatomical clustering in inputs to primary motor cortex in cortico-cortical brain surface evoked potentials

Miller Kai J., Huiskamp Geertjan, Van Blooijs Dorien, Hermes Dora, Gebbink Tineke A., Ferrier Cyrille H., Van Rijen Peter C., Gosselaar Peter, Ramsey Nick F., Leijten Frans S.S. 1 feb 2019,

Repeated Vowel Production Affects Features of Neural Activity in Sensorimotor Cortex

Salari E., Freudenburg Z. V., Vansteensel M. J., Ramsey N. F. 30 jan 2019, In: Brain Topography. 32 , p. 97-110 14 p.

Detailed somatotopy in primary motor and somatosensory cortex revealed by Gaussian population receptive fields

Schellekens Wouter, Petridou Natalia, Ramsey Nick F 1 okt 2018, In: NeuroImage. 179 , p. 337-347 11 p.

All Research Output (210)