The 50th anniversary of the Dutch Neuropsychological Society

Already since the 19th century the Dutch have had an interest in neuropsychology and it is therefore not surprising that in 1963 a study and workgroup on neuropsychology was founded. In 1967, this workgroup received the name “Nederlandse Vereniging voor Neuropsychologie (NVN)” and has been called NVN ever since. In 1971, the NVN had 113 members, a number which has steadily grown over the years to over 800 members nowadays (Eling, 2010).

“Interestingly, the documents from the early years of the NVN show that many members were connected to the University of Groningen, indicating that neuropsychology already received an early institutional recognition in Groningen.”

This is confirmed by the fact that in Groningen the first lectures on neuropsychology were already given in 1969 by prof. dr. B. Deelman, which was a long time before other universities started giving lectures on this topic. The tradition of neuropsychology at the University of Groningen was since then carried forward by different people, including prof. dr. Anke Bouma (retirement in 2009), prof. dr. Wiebo Brouwer (retirement in 2014) and prof. dr. Oliver Tucha (since 2009).

“The field of neuropsychology thus has a relatively long history in the Netherlands and as a result of that the NVN celebrated its 50th anniversary on the first of November 2013 by organizing an anniversary symposium in Nijmegen.”

Several renowned international researchers, including prof. dr. Elizabeth Warrington, prof. dr. Paul Burgess, prof. dr. Peter Hagoort, prof. dr. Hans Markowitsch, prof. dr. Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, dr. Paul Eling and prof. dr. Edward de Haan, gave state-of-the-art overviews of the latest findings in the field of neuropsychology. Prof. dr. Elizabeth Warrington for example discussed the neuropsychological studies about the visual systems contributing to the recognition of objects, while prof. dr. Paul Burgess talked about the myriad of problems caused by lesions in our mysterious frontal lobe. Furthermore, Prof. dr. Hans Markowitsch described some very interesting but rare cases of patients who show normal to superior intellectual functions, but who have severe selective deficits in the episodic‐autobiographical domain of memory (for example, cases like this might not remember relevant personal information such as the birth of their first child or their wedding day).

The first of November of 2013 was thus a very interesting and successful day for the NVN and its members. Since the field of neuropsychology has only begun to blossom in the last decades, it can be expected that there will be many more anniversaries to celebrate. More information about the NVN can be found on


Further reading

Eling, P. (2010). Geschiedenis van de neuropsychologie in Nederland. Amsterdam: Boom.


NOTE: Image by Army Medicine, licenced under CC BY 2.0

Janneke Koerts is an assistant professor in Clinical Neuropsychology and is working at the University of Groningen since 2007. Furthermore, she is the secretary of the Dutch Neuropsychological Society (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Neuropsychologie, NVN). She obtained her PhD in Medical Sciences in 2009 at the University Medical Center Groningen. The title of her thesis was ‘Parkinson’s disease: neuroimaging and clinical studies on cognition and depression’. Her current research can be described by four key words: (1) dopaminergic neurotransmission (including Parkinson’s disease and adult ADHD), (2) executive functions, (3) interventions/treatment and (4) daily life functioning. These topics and the interactions between them play a central role in all her research projects. For more information on Janneke’s research, please visit her webpage.

Select publications

Koerts, J., Tucha, L., Leenders, K.L. & Tucha, O. (2013). Neuropsychological and emotional correlates of personality traits in Parkinson’s disease. Behavioral Neurology, 67, 567-574.

Koerts, J., Tucha, L., Lange, K.W. & Tucha, O. (2013). The influence of cognitive reserve on cognition in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Neural Transmission, 120(4), 593-596.

Fuermaier, A.B.M., Tucha, L., Koerts, J., Aschenbrenner, S., Weisbrod, M., Lange, K.W. & Tucha, O. (2013). Complex prospective memory in adult patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. PLoS ONE, 8(3), e58338.

Koerts, J., Van Beilen, M., Leenders, K.L., Brouwer, W.H., Tucha, L. & Tucha, O. (2012). Complaints about impairments in executive functions in Parkinson’s disease: The association with neuropsychological assessment. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 18 (2), 194-197.

Izaks, G.J., Joosten, H., Koerts, J., Gansevoort, R.T. & Slaets, J.P. (2011). Reference data for the ruff figural fluency test stratified by age and educational level. PLoS ONE, 6(2): e17045.

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