National Initiative Brain & Cognition (NIHC)
NWO division

National Initiative Brain & Cognition (NIHC)

The role of NIHC is to establish brain and cognition sciences as an integrated discipline in the Netherlands. Through collaboration, NIHC bridges scientific disciplines and links fundamental science and practice. NIHC brings societal and scientific partners together. The taskforce that jointly conducts research into the brain, and its influence on human behaviour and society, includes: linguists, information and communication technologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, biologists, psychologists and educationalists.

NIHC supports the development of new strategic, or applied research programmes, in the Netherlands and abroad. The aim is to promote collaboration between top scientists, as well as with partners from societal institutions and industry.

Research topics include ways to improve learning motivation and educational performance, the prevention and control of antisocial behaviour, better decision-making in stressful situations, and the patient recovery process following brain injury.


NIHC is an independent taskforce that receives financial support from NWO, the Dutch Ministries of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), Security and Justice (VenJ) and Defence. NIHC operates under the direction of a supervisory board. Its secretariat is housed at NWO Social Sciences.

Why NIHC was set up

In 2009, the Dutch government allocated 20 million euros to the National Initiative Brain & Cognition for research in that field.

NIHC's task is to provide a strong national lead in brain and cognition research by integrating fundamental and applied neuroscience research with cognition research.


NIHC represents national and international research partners, as well as societal partners from the fields of education, healthcare, justice, industry and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).



Visiting address
Laan van Nieuw Oost-Indië 300
Gebouw Java
2593 CE The Hague
The Netherlands

Postal address
PO Box 93461
2509 AA The Hague
The Netherlands

T: +31 70 344 0933



All publications for National Initiative Brain & Cognition