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Nick Puts


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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    My work focuses on the investigation of brain dynamics underlying the behavioral manifestations of touch. I use behavioral psychophysics and in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of GABA, to assess the relationship between what happens in the brain (GABAergic inhibition), and the behavior it ultimately leads to (tactile sensitivity). I apply these techniques in neurodevelopmental disorders, focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have recently shown reduced GABA levels, as well as abnormal tactile function and children with Autism and children with Tourette syndrome, and have also shown that tactile abnormalities are linked to reduced inhibitory function in these children. My future work focuses on elucidating these inhibitory mechanisms further, using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in combination with MRS and tactile metrics. I am also interested in studying how differences in tactile perception are related to our social sensory experiences, and hyper- and hypo-reactivity.

    A full list of publications can be found here as I update my profile:*

    Biographical details

    Originally hailing from the Netherlands, I did my BSc in Biology and MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at Utrecht University. During these times I completed an exchange year at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and an internship at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

    I obtained my PhD from Cardiff University in 2012 (Biosciences/Psychology) and did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, USA. In 2016 I became Assistant Professor there. I moved to KCL in January 2020.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

    Education/Academic qualification

    Biosciences/Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy, Cardiff University

    Award Date: 10 Feb 2012

    Cognitive Neuroscience, Master in Science, Utrecht University

    Award Date: 31 Aug 2008

    Biology, Bachelor of Science, Utrecht University

    Award Date: 31 Aug 2006


    • QP Physiology
    • MRS
    • Psychophysics
    • Sensory processing
    • tactile processing
    • GABA
    • QH301 Biology
    • Neurodevelopment
    • autism
    • ADHD


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