Bridging the gap between clinical practice and research


Ylka Kolken

Research Intern at The Brainclinics Foundation, since March 2022

What’s keeping you busy?
I am about to finish my bachelor’s in psychology at Maastricht University. After completion I will start my master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at UM.

You’re fascinated by Neuroscience?
Throughout my studies, the ability to track brain activity with such high temporal resolution as EEG has fascinated me, but it’s not just that. Whilst working as a social worker for a few years I noticed the non-personalized way people are often treated, and that’s why personalized medicine caught my attention.



We know a thing or two about Personalized Medicine…
Haha, yes! For my Bachelor thesis, I worked with Martijn on a Sensori-Motor Neurofeedback-based program, a non-invasive treatment in which patients are taught to control brain functions, thereby reducing sleep problems and increasing cognitive functions. After finishing the first script, I joined Brainclinics as an intern.

What’s your personal drive?
Through my practical experience I learned to not make too much of a distinction between a patient and a counsellor. We all struggle, and that is what connects us. By investigating the brain, instead of labelling people too fast, we are able to pinpoint potential brain malfunctioning that leads to unnecessary hardship. By joining Brainclinics I hope to further help people cope with ongoing suffering and bridge the gap between clinical practice and research.