Hofman CV






Position:         Senior Scientist, Ph.D.

Affiliation:      Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN-KNAW)
                        Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences 

Address:         Meibergdreef 47
                        1105 BA Amsterdam
                        THE NETHERLANDS 

Phone:            +31 20 566 5500
Fax:                 +31 20 696 6121
E-mail:             M.Hofman@nin.knaw.nl
Website:         www.nin.knaw.nl




Biographical Profile


Michel A. Hofman received a Bachelor's degree in Biophysics (1973) and a Master's degree in Neurophysiology (1979), both at the University of Amsterdam. In 1980 Dr. Hofman left for the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the predecessor of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN-KNAW), where he studied the evolution and comparative anatomy of the cerebral cortex, which in 1984 led to a Ph.D. thesis on brain evolution and cognition in mammals. From 1984 to 1992 he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Brain Institute conducting research on the sexual differentiation and functional anatomy of the human brain. Since 1992 Dr. Hofman is a senior staff member at the NIN in the department of Neuropsychiatry, where he is studying the design principles and operational mode of the neocortex in primates and the evolution of the brain in hominids. Another focus of his research concerns the neurobiology and temporal organization of the human biological clock.



Academic Functions and Degrees


Bachelor of Science Degree in Biophysics, University of Amsterdam, 1973

Research Assistant, Institute of Animal Physiology, University of Amsterdam,

          1973 - 1975

Research Assistant, Physical Laboratory of E.N.T., University Clinic, Amsterdam, 1975 - 1976

Demonstrator in Neurophysiology, Institute of Animal Physiology, University of Amsterdam, 1976 - 1979

Master of Science Degree in Neurobiology, University of Amsterdam, 1979

Postgraduate Research Scientist, Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Department of Neuroanatomy, Amsterdam, 1980 - 1984

Doctor's Degree in Mathematics and Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1984

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Department of Neuroanatomy (1984-1987) and Department of Neuropsychiatry (1987 -1991) 

Visiting Fellow, Institute of  Anthropology, University of Florence, Italy, 1987

Curator C.U. Ariëns Kappers Brain Collection, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, 1991 - 2012

Senior Scientist, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Amsterdam, 1992 – present

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Integrated Research on the Mind, Department of Psychology, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, 2008




Research Lines


Comparative and organizational principles of the neocortex in primates

The basic structural uniformity of the neocortex suggests that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and evolutionary development. In this research line we are studying the complexity and functional dynamics of the neocortex in human and nonhuman primates. Computational models are used to explore the design principles and operational modes of the cortical neural networks that underlie the brain's information processing capacity. Eventually we like to develop a quantitative model of cognition in primates based on these organizational principles. Keywords: comparative neurobiology - neocortex - neural networks - computational modeling - primate brain evolution - hominids - information processing - cognition.



Functional organization of the human biological clock

The aim of this study is to investigate the involvement of the SCN-pineal complex in the temporal organization of circadian and seasonal rhythms in human subjects both during aging and in various degenerative and affective diseases. The long term objective is to obtain knowledge on the etiology, treatment and prevention of  disorders related to the circadian timing system both in control subjects and in patients suffering from sleep disturbances, mood disorders (depression) and Alzheimer's disease. Keywords: biological clock - circadian oscillator - human hypothalamus - pineal gland - suprachiasmatic nucleus - clock genes - chronobiology - circular statistics - seasonal rhythms.