Religion Cognition and Behavior Lab

University of Amsterdam


65. van Leeuwen, N. & van Elk, M. (in press). Seeking the Supernatural: The Interactive Religious Experience Model. Religion Brain and Behavior.

64. Maij, D.L.R., van Harreveld, F., Gervais, W. Schrag, Y., Mohr, C., & van Elk, M. (2017). Mentalizing skills do not differentiate believers from non-believers, but credibility enhancing displays do. PloS one 12(8).

63. Gervais, W., Xygalatas, D., McKay, R.T., van Elk, M., Buchtel, E.E., Aveyard, M. Schiavone, S.R., Dar-Nimrod, I. Svedholm, A.M. Riekki, T., Klocova, E.K., Ramsay, J.E., Bulbulia, J. (in press). Global evidence of extreme intuitive moral prejudice against atheists. Nature Human Behavior.

62. Maij, D., van Schie, H.T. & van Elk, M. (in press). The Boundary Conditions of the Hypersensitive Agency Detection Device: An Empirical Investigation of Agency Detection in Threatening Situations. Religion, Brain and Behavior.

61. van Elk, M., (2017). The self-attribution bias and paranormal beliefs. Consciousness and Cognition, 49, 313-321.

60. van Elk, M. & Aleman, A. (2017). Brain Mechanisms in Religion and Spirituality: An Integrative Predictive Processing Framework. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 73, 359-378.

59. Specker, E., van Elk, M., & Tinio, P. (2017). Do You See What I See? An Investigation of the Aesthetic Experience in the Laboratory and Museum. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 11 (3), 265-275.

58. van Elk, M., Rutjens, B., & van Harreveld, F. (2017). Why are Protestants more prosocial than Catholics? A comparative study among orthodox Dutch believers. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 27 (1), 65-81.

57. van Elk, M., Duizer, M., Sligte, I., & van Schie, H.T. (2016). Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the right temporo-parietal junction impairs 3rd person perspective taking. Cognitive and Affective Behavioral Neuroscience, 17 (1), 9-23.

56. van Elk, M. & Wagenmakers, E.J. (2017). Can the experimental study of religion be advanced using a Bayesian predictive framework? Religion, Brain and Behavior.

55. Salomon, R., Fernandez, N.B., van Elk, M., Vachicouras, N., Sabatier, F., Tychinskaya, A., Llobera, J. & Blanke, O. (2016). Changing motor perception by sensorimotor conflicts and body ownership. Scientific reports, 6.

54. Rutjens, B. T., van Harreveld, F., van der Pligt, J., van Elk, M., & Pyszczynski, T. (2016). A march to a better world? Religiosity and the existential function of belief in social-moral progress. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 26(1), 1-15.

53. van Elk, M. & Zwaan, R. (2016). Predictive processing and situation models: constructing and reconstructing religious experience. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 7(1), 85-87.

52. Faber, T.W., van Elk, M. & Jonas, K. (2016) Complementary hand responses occur in both peri- and extrapersonal space. PLoS ONE, 11(4).

51. van Elk, M., Rutjens, B., van Harreveld, F., & van der Pligt, J. (2016). Priming of supernatural agent concepts and agency detection. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 6(1), 4-33.

50. Pfeiffer, C., van Elk, M., Bernasconi, F. & Blanke, O. (2016). Distinct vestibular effects on early and late somatosensory cortical processing in humans. NeuroImage, 125, 208-219.

49. van Elk, M., Karinen, A., Specker, E., Stamkou, E., Baas, M. (2016). ‘Standing in Awe’: The Effects of Awe on Body Perception and the Relation with Absorption. Collabra 2(1).

48. van Elk, M., Matzke, D., Gronau, Q.F., Guang, M. Vandekerckhove, J. & Wagenmakers, E.J. (2015). Meta-Analyses Are No Substitute for Registered Replications: A Skeptical Perspective on Religious Priming. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(1365).

47. van Elk, M., Rutjens, B. & van der Pligt, J. (2015). The development of the illusion of control and sense of agency in 7- to -12-year old children and adults. Cognition, 145, 1-12.

46. van Elk, M. (2015). Perceptual Biases in Relation to Paranormal and Conspiracy Beliefs. PLoS ONE, 10(6).

45. Serino, A., Sforza, A. L., Kanayama, N., Elk, M., Kaliuzhna, M., Herbelin, B., & Blanke, O. (2015). Tuning of temporo‐occipital activity by frontal oscillations during virtual mirror exposure causes erroneous self‐recognition. European Journal of Neuroscience, 42(8), 2515-2526.

44. van Elk, M., (2015). An EEG study on the effects of induced spiritual experiences on somatosensory processing and sensory suppression. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 2(2), 121-157.

43. van Elk, M. (2014). The effect of manipulability and religion on the multisensory integration of objects in peripersonal space. Cognitive Neuroscience 5(1), 36-44.

42. Lodder, P., Rotteveel, M. & van Elk, M. (2014). Enactivism and neonatal imitation: conceptual and empirical considerations and clarifications. Frontiers in Psychology 5(967).

41. van Elk, M., Salomon, R., Kannape, O., & Blanke, O. (2014). Suppression of the N1 auditory evoked potential for sounds generated by the upper and lower limbs. Biological Psychology, 102, 108-117.

40. van Elk, M. (2014). The left Inferior Parietal Lobe represents stored hand-postures for object use and action prediction. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(333).

39. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2014). The scope and limits of action semantics. Reply to comments on ‘Action Semantics: A unifying conceptual framework for the selective use of multimodal and modality-specific object knowledge’. Physics of Life Reviews, 11(2), 273-279.

38. van Elk, M., Lenggenhager, B., Heydrich, L. & Blanke, O. (2014). Suppression of the auditory N1-component for heartbeat-related sounds reflects interoceptive predictive coding. Biological Psychology, 99, 172-182.

37. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2014). Action semantics: A unifying conceptual framework for the selective use of multimodal and modality-specific object knowledge. Physics of Life Reviews, 11(2), 220-250.

36. van Elk, M. & Blanke, O. (2014). Imagined own body transformations during passive self motion. Psychological Research, 78(1), 18-27.

35. van Elk, M. (2013). Paranormal believers are more prone to illusory agency detection than skeptics. Consciousness & Cognition, 22(3), 1041-1046.

34. Sengül, A., Rognini, G., van Elk, M., Aspell, J., Bleuler, H., Blanke, O. (2013). Force feedback facilitates multisensory integration during robotic tool use. Experimental Brain Research, 227(4), 497-507.

33. van Elk, M., Forget, J. & Blanke, O. (2013). The effect of limb crossing and limb congruency on multisensory integration in peripersonal space for the upper and lower extremities. Consciousness & Cognition, 22(2), 545-555.

32. Sengül, A., van Elk, M., Rognini, G., Aspell, J., Bleuler, H. & Blanke, O. (2012). Extending the body to virtual tools using a robotic surgical interface: evidence from the crossmodal congruency task. PLoS ONE, 7(12).

31. van Elk, M. & Blanke, O. (2012). Balancing bistable perception during self-motion. Experimental Brain Research, 222(3), 219-228.

30. Salomon, R., van Elk, M., Aspell, J. & Blanke O., (2012). I feel who I see: Visual body identity affects visual-tactile integration in peripersonal space. Consciousness & Cognition, 21(3), 1355-1364.

29. de Bruin, L, van Elk, M., & Newen, A. (2012). Reconceptualizing second-person interaction. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6(151), 1-10.

28. van Elk, M., Bousardt, R., Bekkering, H., & van Schie, H.T. (2012). Using goal- and grip-related information for understanding the correctness of other's actions: an ERP study. PLoS ONE, 7(5), 1-8.

27. Paulus, M., van Elk, M. & Bekkering, H. (2012). Acquiring functional object knowledge through motor imagery? Experimental Brain Research, 218(2), 181–188.

26. van Elk, M., Viswanathan, S., van Schie, H.T., Bekkering, H. & Grafton, S. (2012). Pouring or chilling a bottle of wine: An fMRI study on the prospective planning of object-directed actions. Experimental Brain Research, 218(2), 189-200.

25. Paulus, M., Hunnius, S., van Elk, M., & Bekkering, H. (2012). How learning to shake a rattle affects 8-month-old infants' perception of the rattle's sound: Electrophysiological evidence for action-effect binding in infancy. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2, 90-96.

24. van Elk, M. & Blanke, O. (2011). The relation between body semantics and spatial body representations. Acta Psychologica, 138(3), 347-58.

23. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2011). Imitation of hand and tool actions is effector-independent. Experimental Brain Research, 214(4), 539-547.

22. van Elk, M. & Blanke, O. (2011). Manipulable objects facilitate cross-modal integration in peripersonal space. PLoS ONE, 6(9), 3-7.

21. van Elk, M., Paulus, M., Pfeiffer, C., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2011). Learning to use novel objects: a training study on the acquisition of novel action representations. Consciousness and Cognition, 20(4), 1304-14.

20. van Elk, M. & Blanke, O. (2011). Bodily self-consciousness and the primacy of self related signals such as the 1st person perspective and self-location. Cognitive Neuroscience, 2(2), 123-124.

19. Meyer, M., Hunnius, S., van Elk, M., van Eede, F. & Bekkering, H. (2011). Joint action modulates motor system involvement during action observation in 3-year-olds. Experimental Brain Research, 211, 581-591.

18. van Elk, M., Slors, M. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Embodied language understanding requires an enactivist paradigm of cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 1(234).

17. van Elk, M., Crajé, C., Beeren, M.E.G.V., Steenbergen, B., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Neural evidence for compromised motor imagery in right hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Frontiers in Neurology, 1(150).

16. van Elk, M., Crajé, C., Beeren, M.E.G.V., Steenbergen, B., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Neural evidence for impaired action selection in right hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Brain Research, 1349, 56-67.

15. Crajé, C., van Elk, M., Beeren, M.E.G.V., van Schie, H.T., Steenbergen, B. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Compromised motor planning and motor imagery in right hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31(6), 1313-22.

14. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., Neggers, B. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Neural and temporal dynamics underlying visual selection for action. Journal of Neurophysiology, 104(2), 972-83.

13. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2010). From left to right: Processing acronyms referring to names of political parties activates spatial associations. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63(11), 22202-19.

12. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2010). The N400-concreteness effect reflects the retrieval of semantic information for action. Biological Psychology, 85(1), 134-42.

11. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., Zwaan, R.A. & Bekkering, H. (2010). The functional role of motor resonance in language processing: motor-cortical oscillations support lexical-semantic retrieval. Neuroimage, 50(2), 665-677.

10. Stapel, J.C., Hunnius, S., van Elk, M. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Motor activation during observation of unusual versus ordinary actions in infancy. Social Neuroscience, 5, 451-460.

9. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., van den Heuvel, R. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Semantics in the motor system: motor-cortical beta oscillations reflect semantic knowledge of end-postures for object use. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 4(8).

8. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering (2010). Dorsal stream areas process action semantics. Cognitive Neuroscience, 1(1), 70.

7. Rueschemeyer, S.A., Lindemann, O., van Elk, M. & Bekkering, H. (2010). Embodied cognition: The interplay between automatic resonance and selection-for-action mechanisms. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(7), 1180-1187.

6. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2009). Semantic knowledge about objects is supported by functional motor activation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35(4), 1118-1128.

5. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2009). Short-term action intentions overrule long-term semantic knowledge. Cognition, 111(1),72-83.

4. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., Hunnius, H., Vesper, C. & Bekkering, H. (2008). You’ll never crawl alone: Neurophysiological evidence for motor resonance in infancy. Neuroimage, 43(4), 808-814.

3. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2008). Semantics in Action: An electrophysiological study on the use of semantic knowledge for action. Journal of Physiology – Paris, 102, 95-100.

2. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T. & Bekkering, H. (2008). Conceptual knowledge for understanding other’s actions is organized primarily around action goals. Experimental Brain Research, 189(1), 99-107.

1. van Elk, M. (2007) Cognitive science meets the design plan. South African Journal of Philosophy, 26(3),319-328.



Book Chapters

3. van Elk, M. & Bekkering, H. (2018). The embodiment of concepts: Theoretical perspectives and the role of predictive processing. In: S. Gallagher, A. Newen, L. de Bruijn (eds.) Oxford handbook of 4E cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2. van Elk, M., Friston, K. & Bekkering, H. (2016) The experience of coincidence: an integrated psychological and neurocognitive perspective. In: N. ter Berg, K. Landsman, C. Lüthy, E. van Wolde (eds.) The Challenge of Chance. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

1. van Elk, M., van Schie, H.T., Lindemann, O. & Bekkering, H. (2007) Using conceptual knowledge in action and language. In: P. Haggard, Y. Rossetti & M. Kawato (eds.) Attention and Performance XXII: Sensorimotor foundations of higher cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 575-599.



M. van Elk (2017). Extase: Over de Godhelm en andere religieuze experimenten. Amsterdam: Boom Uitgevers.

M. van Elk (2012). De Gelovige Geest: Op zoek naar de biologische en psychologische wortels van religie. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker.

M. van Elk & S. Hunnius (2010). Het Babybrein: Over de ontwikkeling van de hersenen bij baby's. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker.