D. Hernaus

Dr. Dennis Hernaus is an Assistant Professor at the School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHENS), based at the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Dr. Hernaus is interested in the cognitive processes and neural correlates that support goal-directed behaviour (e.g., motivation, reinforcement learning, value-based decision-making), how we adjust it based on context (for example, when trying to attain something nice versus avoiding something terrible), and how it is altered in people that suffer from mental illness.

In his work, Dennis employs a multi-layered approach that includes neuroimaging, psychopharmacology, psychophysiology, and computational modelling to address questions like:
- How do stressful or aversive situations impact motivation and value-based decisions?
- Which neurochemical systems support reinforcement learning?
- How can alterations in goal-directed behaviour explain symptoms commonly seen in people that suffer from mental illness (principally: impaired motivation)?