Cognito is the student association for the students of the research master Brain and Cognitive Sciences (MBCS) in Amsterdam – a collaborative effort of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS) and University of Amsterdam (UvA). Each year about 50 new students are selected to start the program, divided among three tracks: Cognitive Science, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Behavioural Neuroscience. Students are selected for their motivation, previous grades, and scientific interest. With these +/- 50 new students per year, we are a small but enthusiastic student union that comprises of a number of committees and the Cognito board.

Cognito organises both educational and social events. An example of a new and very beloved event is CogniTalks, which is an evening with short lectures in the style of ‘TEDTalks’. The social committee organises one fun event almost every month, including a weekend away! By organising these events, we aim at creating a community feeling among our students and offering a platform for students to meet alumni and researchers to get acquainted with the life after the study.

The Board

The board of Cognito consists currently of: Rebecca Geiselmann (President, Barbara Mathiopoulou(Secretary), Steven Voges (Treasurer), Tiffany Matej Hrkalović (PR), Lilian Emming (Acquisition).

We are the board! Besides aiming at to always be there for our students and help out where Cognito can, we also have some personal goals. The fact that Cognito is a relatively small union, does not mean that we cannot grow. We are working on tightening our relationship with our sister student associations, our faculty and university.

Even though we are very proud of the help of everyone with the organization of the events and the commitment to help Cognito grow, the most important goal will always be go make sure that all MBCS have two (or more) fun, enlightening, and supportive years and look back at this time as an amazing experience!


Together, we write for Incognito, our monthly 4-page epos full of interviews, scientific news, and updates related to Cognito. We keep in touch with our fellow students who are doing an internship abroad in the “Brainies Abroad” column, write about what’s next after this master’s in the “Alumnus Profile”, and we’ve had many other interesting interviews, for example with a locked-in patient and a drug addict-turned-neuroscience professor. Moreover, there’s room for some lighter brain-related entertainment, such as a cryptic cross word puzzle, a horoscope, and a comic.


If you want to get in touch with Cognito please email us at cognitouva (at) gmail.com