John Stins

John Stins
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | VU · MOVE Research Institute Amsterdam

PhD

About

111
Publications
23,337
Reads
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3,227
Citations
Citations since 2017
27 Research Items
1510 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Introduction
I am an assistant professor at the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam. My research focuses on the interface of experimental psychology and motor control, and falls under the MOVE Research Institute Amsterdam. I am involved in teaching and supervision of students at undergraduate and graduate level.
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2001 - January 2005
University of Amsterdam
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 1999 - February 2001
The Open University (UK)
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (111)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Unilateral neglect (UN) is a common and disabling disorder after stroke. UN is a strong and negative predictor of functional rehabilitative outcome. Non-invasive brain stimulation, such as theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (TBS), is a promising rehabilitation technique for treating stroke-induced UN. Objective: To systematic...
Article
We tested whether surprise elicits similar physiological changes as those associated with orienting and freezing after threat, as surprise also involves a state of interruption and attention for effective action. Moreover, because surprise is primarily driven by the unexpectedness of an event, initial physiological responses were predicted to be si...
Article
Postural control is a motor skill that allows individuals to interact with their environment. Indeed, in all species, development of postural control is a prerequisite for acquiring further motor abilities. In humans, the maintenance of a bipedal posture plays an important role in interaction with the environment, as it provides a stable postural b...
Article
Basic postural control tasks always take place in an environmental context. Environmental parameters such as optic flow, changes in support surface, and integrity of reflex loops, have been widely studied to unravel the postural control mechanisms. My research focuses on environmental parameters that have clear survival value, namely emotions. With...
Article
Full-text available
The control of posture, as in quiet upright standing, is distributed among postural reflexes and higher (cortical) centers. According to the theory of “intermittent control,” the control of posture involves a rapid succession of brief periods of postural stability, during which the body dwells relatively motionless in a particular posture, and post...
Article
Full-text available
Children with autism not only have limited social and communicative skills but also have motor abnormalities, such as poor timing and coordination of balance. Moreover, impaired gross motor skills hamper participation with peers. Balance control is interesting from a cognitive science perspective, since it involves a complex interplay between infor...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The study of sequential effects in aiming tasks might shed light on the organization of repetitive motor performances over time. To date, investigations of such effects in sports have been limited and yielded mixed results. Given the relatively short time intervals between successive attempts, and the absence of defensive interventions,...
Data
Simulation 2. Effect of short‐latency moment on upper body across flexible hip.
Data
Simulation 1. Effect of short‐latency moment on inverted pendulum CoM.
Data
Simulation 3. Effect of short‐latency moments on upper body across flexible knee.
Data
Simulation 4. Effect of short‐latency moment on upper body across flexible lower‐limb.
Data
Simulation 5. Effect of neck moment on head and body below the neck.
Article
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Vestibular sensation contributes to cervical-head stabilization and fall prevention. To what extent fear of falling influences the associated vestibular feedback processes is currently undetermined. We used galanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) to induce vestibular reflexes while participants stood at ground level and on a narrow walkway at 3.85 m h...
Article
The distance regulation (DR) hypothesis states that actors are inclined to increase their distance from an unpleasant stimulus. The current study investigated the relation between emotion and its effect on the control of backward step initiation, which constitutes an avoidance-like behavior. Participants stepped backward on a force plate in respons...
Article
Full-text available
According to the embodied cognition perspective, cognitive systems and perceptuo-motor systems are deeply intertwined and exert a causal effect on each other. A prediction following from this idea is that cognitive activity can result in subtle changes in observable movement. In one experiment, we tested whether reading various sentences resulted i...
Article
Full-text available
Kinderen met autisme hebben niet alleen problemen met communicatie en sociale interactie. Ze hebben ook motorische problemen, zoals stereotype bewegingen, slechte coördinatie en zwakke motorische vaardigheden. Al deze vaardigheden zijn van belang om te kunnen participeren in schoolse en buitenschoolse activiteiten. Uit veel studies blijkt dat kinde...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Balance performance in the elderly is related to psychological factors such as attentional focus. We investigated the effects of internal vs. external focus of attention and fall history on walking stability in healthy older adults. Method: Walking stability of twenty-eight healthy older adults was assessed by applying random unila...
Article
Full-text available
Besides fight and flight responses, animals and humans may respond to threat with freezing, a response characterized by bradycardia and physical immobility. Risk assessment is proposed to be enhanced during freezing to promote optimal decision making. Indeed, healthy participants showed freezing-like responses to threat cues. Posttraumatic stress d...
Article
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Evidence is increasing that brain areas that are responsible for action planning and execution are activated during the information processing of action-related verbs (e.g., pick or kick). To obtain further evidence, we conducted three experiments to see if constraining arm posture, which could disturb the motor planning and imagery for that arm, w...
Article
Falls represent a substantial risk in the elderly. Previous studies have found that a focus on the outcome or effect of the movement (external focus of attention) leads to improved balance performance, whereas a focus on the movement execution itself (internal focus of attention) impairs balance performance in elderly. A shift toward more conscious...
Article
Background Tonic immobility (TI) is a state of physical immobility associated with extreme stress and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, it is unknown whether TI is associated with a distinct actual stress response, i.e., objective immobility measured by a stabilometric platform. This study made a first step in explor...
Article
Full-text available
Tonic immobility (TI) is a state of physical immobility associated with extreme stress and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, it is unknown whether TI is associated with a distinct actual stress response, i.e., objective immobility measured by a stabilometric platform. This study made a first step in exploring this as...
Article
Full-text available
Effects of visual roll-motion on postural sway and the subjective visual vertical (SVV) often is studied using mechanical devices, whereas electronic displays offer cheaper and more flexible alternatives. These devices typically emit and reflect light scattered by the edges of the screen, providing Earth-fixed cues of verticality. These cues may de...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Vestibular patients occasionally report aggravation or triggering of their symptoms by visual stimuli, which is called visual vestibular mismatch (VVM). These patients therefore experience discomfort, disorientation, dizziness and postural unsteadiness. Objective: Firstly, we aimed to get a better insight in the underlying mechanism...
Data
Dataset underlying the presented data. (ZIP)
Article
Visually induced motion sickness (VIMS) and increased postural sway are two adverse side effects that may occur when viewing motion stimuli. However, whether these effects are elevated to a greater extent when viewing stereoscopic 3D motion stimuli, compared to 2D stimuli on a TV screen, has not been investigated under controlled circumstances. The...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the mechanisms that reduce the many degrees of freedom in the musculoskeletal system remains an outstanding challenge. Muscle synergies reduce the dimensionality and hence simplify the control problem. How this is achieved is not yet known. Here we use network theory to assess the coordination between multiple muscles and to elucidate...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Vection, a feeling of self-motion while being physically stationary, and postural sway can be modulated by various visual factors. Moreover, vection and postural sway are often found to be closely related when modulated by such visual factors, suggesting a common neural mechanism. One well-known visual factor is the depth order of the s...
Data
Vection duration data and vection latency data. (SAV)
Data
Videos of the stimuli with pattern rotation in the background. (MP4)
Data
Data on postural sway, including the sway path length, moving window standard deviation and the lean. (SAV)
Data
Videos of the stimuli with pattern rotation in the foreground. (MP4)
Data
Table showing the paired t-tests following significant interaction effects for the SPL and MWSD. (DOCX)
Article
Emotion influences parameters of goal-directed whole-body movements in several ways. For instance, previous research has shown that approaching (moving toward) pleasant stimuli is easier compared to approaching unpleasant stimuli. However, some studies found that when emotional pictures are viewed for a longer time, approaching unpleasant stimuli m...
Article
Full-text available
the present study examined the differential effects of kinesthetic imagery (first person perspec- tive) and visual imagery (third person perspective) on postural sway during quiet standing. Based on an embodied cognition perspective, the authors predicted that kinesthetic imagery would lead to activations in movement-relevant motor systems to a gre...
Article
Perceptual estimates of action-relevant space have been reported to vary dependent on postural stability and concomitant changes in arousal. These findings contribute to current theories proposing that perception may be embodied. However, systematic manipulations to postural stability have not been tested, and a causal relationship between postural...
Article
Full-text available
Instrumental decision making has long been argued to be vulnerable to emotional responses. Literature on multiple decision making systems suggests that this emotional biasing might reflect effects of a system that regulates innately specified, evolutionarily preprogrammed responses. To test this hypothesis directly, we investigated whether effects...
Conference Paper
Results indicate that visual motion plays an important role in causing VVM related symptoms and postural sway. Postural sway may be considered of interest in future reseach on optokinetic treatment of VVM. Aims • Study whether visual motion is a necessary factor causing visual-vestibular mismatch (VVM) related symptoms and postural sway. • Study ti...
Article
Embodiment theories emphasize the role played by sensory and motor processes in psychological states, such as social information processing. Motivated by this idea, we examined how whole-body postural behaviors couple to social affective cues, viz., pictures of smiling and angry faces. We adopted a Simon-like paradigm, whereby healthy female volunt...
Article
When people judge height from the top looking down they tend to overestimate vertical distance. Initial findings suggest that this perceptual bias may be in part due to the experienced fear of falling. However, previous studies did not control for potentially relevant optical invariants, especially vertical texture gradient cues, that may inform su...
Article
Unlabelled: Motion sickness symptoms and increased postural instability induced by motion pictures have been reported in a laboratory, but not in a real cinema. We, therefore, carried out an observational study recording sickness severity and postural instability in 19 subjects before, immediately and 45 min after watching a 1 h 3D aviation docume...
Article
Abstract Human freezing has been objectively assessed using a passive picture viewing paradigm as an analog for threat. These results should be replicated for other stimuli in order to determine their stability and generalizability. Affective films are used frequently to elicit affective responses, but it is unknown whether they also elicit freezin...
Data
Full-text available
Article
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BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Interactions between postural control and cognitive activity as evidenced by dual-tasking studies are common, and especially pronounced in the elderly. Some authors have used this finding to suggest that posture is "cognitively penetrable." The authors present a critical look at the "cognitive penetrability of posture" con...
Article
Full-text available
Facial expressions are potent social cues that can induce behavioral dispositions, such as approach–avoidance tendencies. We studied these tendencies by asking participants to make whole-body forward (approach) or backward (avoidance) steps on a force plate in response to the valence of social cues (happy or angry faces) under affect-congruent and...
Article
In the present study, we investigated the effect of prior aversive life events on freezing-like responses. Fifty healthy females were presented neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant images from the International Affective Picture System while standing on a stabilometric platform and wearing a polar band to assess body sway and heart rate. In the total...
Article
The present experiment was conducted to examine the expectation that emotion stimuli influence the initiation and execution of voluntary stepping, a highly coordinated activity involving a sequence of medio-lateral and anterio-posterior weight shifts. Thirty participants made forward (approach) or backward (avoidance) steps on a forceplate in respo...
Article
Freezing is a common defensive response in animals threatened by predators. It is characterized by reduced body motion and decreased heart rate (bradycardia). However, despite the relevance of animal defense models in human stress research, studies have not shown whether social threat cues elicit similar freeze-like responses in humans. We investig...
Article
Results: Subjects were 134 people who exceeded 15 seconds (42 males, average age 78.7±3.2 years, and 92 females, 78.9±4.1 years old) and 1164 people under 15 seconds (206 males, average age 80.8±4.0 years, and 958 females, 80.5±4.1 years old). The grip power of the bilateral hands was big in the male over 15 seconds, but it differed in the female....
Article
Full-text available
Recent research suggests that changes in cortical structures can contribute to the pathophysiology of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). This review provides an overview of studies showing cortical involvement in CRPS, including mislocalizations of tactile stimuli, changes in size and organization of the somatosensory map, changes in motor cort...
Article
Full-text available
Current research suggests that elevated levels of anxiety have a negative impact on the regulation of balance. However, most studies to date examined only global balance performance, with little attention to the way body posture is organized in space and time. The aim of this study is to examine whether posturographic measures can reveal (sub)clini...
Article
Full-text available
Brain damage can cause massive changes in consciousness levels. From a clinical and ethical point of view it is desirable to assess the level of residual consciousness in unresponsive patients. However, no direct measure of consciousness exists, so we run into the philosophical problem of other minds. Neurologists often make implicit use of a Turin...
Article
We examined the time varying (dynamic) characteristics of center-of-pressure (COP) fluctuations in a group of 14 preadolescent dancers and 16 age-matched non-dancers. The task involved maintaining balance for 20s with eyes open or eyes closed, and with or without performing an attention demanding cognitive task (word memorization). The main finding...
Article
Full-text available
People who suffer from low back pain (LBP) exhibit an abnormal gait pattern, characterized by shorter stride length, greater step width, and an impaired thorax-pelvis coordination which may undermine functional walking. As a result, gait in LBP may require stronger cognitive regulation compared to pain free subjects thereby affecting the degree of...
Article
In a recent study of a patient in a persistent vegetative state, [Owen, A. M., Coleman, M. R., Boly, M., Davis, M. H., Laureys, S., & Pickard, J. D. (2006). Detecting awareness in the vegetative state. Science, 313, 1402] claimed that they had demonstrated the presence of consciousness in this patient. This bold conclusion was based on the isomorph...
Article
Executive functioning is an umbrella term for several related cognitive functions like selective- and sustained attention, working memory, and inhibition. Little is known about the stability of executive functioning during childhood. In this study the longitudinal stability of executive functioning was examined in young twins. The twin design enabl...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep deprivation has a broad variety of effects on human performance and neural functioning that manifest themselves at different levels of description. On a macroscopic level, sleep deprivation mainly affects executive functions, especially in novel tasks. Macroscopic and mesoscopic effects of sleep deprivation on brain activity include reduced c...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion theory holds that unpleasant events prime withdrawal actions, whereas pleasant events prime approach actions. Recent studies have suggested that passive viewing of emotion eliciting images results in postural adjustments, which become manifest as changes in body center of pressure (COP) trajectories. From those studies it appears that postu...
Article
Full-text available
Two well-known response interference tasks are the Eriksen flanker task and the spatial conflict task. The tasks are logically equivalent, and comparable effects of current and previous stimulus type (congruent or incongruent) have been shown with regard to reaction time (RT). Here, we investigated whether interference and sequential trial effects...
Article
Full-text available
The conflict-control loop theory proposes that the detection of conflict in information processing triggers an increase in cognitive control, resulting in improved performance on the subsequent trial. This theory seems consistent with the robust finding that conflict susceptibility is reduced following correct trials associated with high conflict:...
Article
This study examined the phenotypic and genotypic relationship between working memory speed (WMS) and working memory capacity (WMC) in 12-year-old twins and their siblings (N = 409). To asses WMS all children performed a reaction time task with three memory loads from which a basic mental speed measure and the derived slope were used. WMC was measur...
Article
Recently a novel interference task was developed, that was aimed at obtaining robust patterns of interference in individual subjects, both behaviorally and neurophysiologically (Bush, Shin, Holmes, Rosen & Vogt, 2003). This multi-source interference task (MSIT) combined elements of spatial and flanker interference, and huge interference effects wer...
Article
In this study aspects of selective attention and working memory were tested in a large sample of nearly 6-year old monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs, using a computerized test battery (Amsterdam Neuropsychological tasks). In the selective attention task the presence of a foil signal (target signal at an irrelevant location) resulted in more fals...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely matched for age and IQ. All participants were 12 years...