Ruben is a postdoctoral scientist at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and a scientific advisor to the OECD. His research focuses on insight experiences and the effects of long-term meditation on the plasticity of mind and brain.

Seeing clearly

Is it possible that meditation genuinely allows practitioners to perceive the world in a more direct way, beyond conceptions? Using a combination of neuroimaging, machine learning, and cognitive measures, we’re investigating some of the most rare states of consciousness that can be achieved through meditation.

Should we teach mindfulness in school?

As part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation’s efforts to revamp the world’s education system, known as Education 2030, we’re evaluating the scientific evidence for the effects of mindfulness on learning.

Insight moments

How do we know when our ideas true? Why do we have insight experiences? Our research is beginning to answer these questions.

The dark side of Eureka

“…the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.”

– Nobel Laureate John Nash

Our research reveals a dark side to ‘Aha!’ moments.