About us

The main aim of the ‘Cognition, Behavior, and Ecology’ (CoBE) lab @UGent is to provide novel insights into an age-old problem, namely how and why human and non-human animals differ in their ability to adapt and control their behavior in ever-changing environments.

Our research approach is interdisciplinary at theoretical and methodological levels.

Our research team is embedded in local, national and international collaborative networks

Our research team aims to be at the forefront of good research practices and Open Science

Please consult our lab guide for further information on the mission, values, and practices of the lab. 

The team

Frederick Verbruggen 


Camille Troisi


Marie Skłodowska-Curie

Twitter @CamilleTroisi

Alizée Vernouillet


Special Research Fund UGent

Twitter @VernouilletA
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Charlotte Eben 


ERC (Ctrl-ImpAct)

Twitter @CharlotteEben
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Zhang Chen 



Twitter @zhangchen_psy

Reinoud Allaert

PhD student & research support 


Twitter @cobe_lab

Sophia Knoch 

PhD student 


Twitter @cobe_lab

Nathan Audenaert 

Animal caretaker 


Twitter @cobe_lab

Anneleen Dewulf

PhD student


Twitter @AnneleenDewulf

Katy Willcox

PhD student 


Twitter @KatyWillcoxABW

Wen Zhang

PhD student

(main supervisor: Luc Lens)  

Twitter @WenZh_CN
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Mathias Van der Biest 

PhD student 

(main supervisor: Marcel Brass) 

Twitter @BiestMathias
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Roos Doekemeijer 

PhD student 

(main supervisor: Nico Boehler)

Twitter @RA_Doekemeijer

Clara García i Co

PhD student 

(main supervisor: Wendt Mueller)

Jolien Van Malderen

PhD student 

(main supervisor: Eric Stienen)

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Quinn Cabooter

Research assistant

(Joint project with Nico Boehler) 

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Akira (Nilosmita) Banerjee

Affiliated PhD student 

(supervisors: X. Noël & Z. Chen) 

Twitter @AkiraBanerjee

For the Methusalem project, we work closely together with: 

Luc Lens

Biology – UGent

An Martel

Veterinary Medicine – UGent


Across projects, we aim to provide answers to four questions: 

(1) What are the underlying neurobiological and cognitive mechanisms that enable individuals to adapt their behavior in response to unexpected or sudden changes in the environment?

(2) How do these mechanisms and the resulting behavior develop during an individual's lifetime?

(3) What are the consequences if individuals are better (or just less) able to adapt their behavior?

(4) How has the ability to adapt behavior evolved (and are there species that are better or less able to adapt their behavior)?

Main projects (examples)

PI: Frederick Verbruggen (see CV for a full list) 

Click on the title for further information on the individual projects

2021–2027: Inhibition of impulsive and inappropriate actions: A novel eco-devo approach (Methusalem Funding, Ghent University/Flemish government)

2018–2024: Control of Impulsive Action (Ctrl-Impact), ERC Consolidator Grant

2013–2018: Updating the mind: The mechanisms behind behavioural change (UTM), ERC Starting Grant


For all team members, you can find an overview of UGent publications of all team, and in most cases, a pdf of the publication, on biblio,ugent.be  (enter the name of one of the authors to find the publications)

UGent publications of Frederick Verbruggen can be accessed here.  

Open data and materials

The general lab rule is that data should be as open as possible, as closed as necessary.

For most projects, you can find the data on the Open Science Framework

We also share our analysis scripts and other software (including STOP-IT) via this platform. 


Pdf’s of presentations can be found on the Open Science Framework


You can follow us on Twitter for news updates

Note: cookies might be required to view our Twitter profile


All lab members can be found using the Ghent University phone book

Most team members have an office at the: 

Department of Experimental Psychology

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences 

H. Dunantlaan 2

9000 Ghent

(You can find us on the 4th floor)

Our avian research facilities are part of the: 

Wildlife Rescue Centre

Nieuwpoortsesteenweg 642

8400 Ostend