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Picture of Frank van Overwalle

Frank van Overwalle

Professor, Academic staff


Prof. van Overwalle's major research interest is currently on neuroimaging of social cognition processes including understanding another person's mental states, intentions and (causal) beliefs, as well as his or her traits. Most recently, his research moved to the social cerebellum which seems to be critically important for understanding social action sequences. Previously, he was involved in developing connectionist models of important domains in social cognition: causal attribution, group biases, person impression formation and attitude formation and change (including cognitive dissonance).  He conducted simulations on representative findings from the literature in these domains using common network architectures and processing parameters in order to develop a general and unified process model of these judgments in social cognition. In addition, he also devised experiments to test some specific predictions that emerged from these network simulations and that sometimes contradict currently held beliefs on how these judgments are made. During the previous ten years, he worked on several issues in the domain of causal and dispositional attributions. His earlier interests focused on attribution retraining programs with the aid of covariation information manipulation and the emotional and cognitive consequences of causal attributions in the achievement domain.  Next, he moved to the question of how people make use of covariation information in order to make causal and dispositional inferences.


Brain, Body, & Cognition Research Unit, VUB, Belgium