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Personal profile


I study how cognition, emotion, personality, and psychopathology impact the organization of movement, with an emphasis on regulating balance.

Research interests

Influences of emotion on balance 
Charles Darwin recognized that emotions have clear communicative and behavioral characteristics, such as preparing the body for fight or flight. These innate tendencies manifest themselves in postural changes, such as ‘freeze’ and ‘avoidance’. Using recordings of the body center of pressure, PhD-student Daniëlle Bouman and I study how static balance and the initiation of gait are influenced by affective states, induced by pictorial stimuli. Also, in collaboration with Prof. Ian Loram and Jonathan de Melkert Worms (PhD student) at Manchester Metropolitan University, we study how fear of falling modifies postural behavior (part of the MOVE-AGE Program).


Regulation of balance in psychopathology 
Various mental disorders are characterized by subtle movement abnormalities, such as altered regulation of balance. It is thought that this altered balance is in part modulated by hypervigilance to bodily signals and an excessive conscious control of movement. In collaboration with Dr. Claudia Emck at the Department of Human Movement Sciences and with Prof. Karin Roelofs and Dr. Muriel Hagenaars at the Behavioural Science Institute (Nijmegen) we investigate postural behavior in selected patient groups, such as childhood anxiety, PTSD, and autism.


One of the tenets of the embodied cognition theory is that mental states are grounded in the physical body, which can manifest itself as a reciprocity between mental states and bodily states. Motivated by this approach, I recently performed an experiment on how linguistic activity is reflected in changes in muscular activity (paper in press). Also, with Prof. Rouwen Canal Bruland we study how bodily states affect perceptual judgments of geometric properties of the environment.


Ancillary activities

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Ancillary activities are updated daily

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where John Stins is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Posture Medicine & Life Sciences
Gait Medicine & Life Sciences
Emotions Medicine & Life Sciences
Freezing Medicine & Life Sciences
Cues Medicine & Life Sciences
Pressure Medicine & Life Sciences
Imagery (Psychotherapy) Medicine & Life Sciences
Short-Term Memory Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1997 2019

Postural responses to emotional visual stimuli

Lelard, T., Stins, J. & Mouras, H., Apr 2019, In : Neurophysiologie clinique. p. 109-114

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Motor Skills

Back off! The effect of emotion on backward step initiation

Bouman, D. & Stins, J. F., Feb 2018, In : Human Movement Science. 57, p. 280-290

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Avoidance Learning

Balance Performance in Autism: A Brief Overview: A brief overview

Stins, J. F. & Emck, C., 5 Jun 2018, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 9, JUNE, p. 1-6 6 p., 901.

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Autistic Disorder
Automatic Data Processing
Cognitive Science
Motor Skills

Evidence for sequential performance effects in professional darts

Stins, J. F., Yaari, G., Wijmer, K., Burger, J. F. & Beek, P. J., 26 Apr 2018, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 9, APRIL, p. 1-7 7 p., 591.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

Unveiling intermittency in the control of quiet upright standing: Beyond automatic behavior

Stins, J. F. & Roerdink, M., 10 Oct 2018, In : Frontiers in Neurology. 9, October, p. 1-10 10 p., 850.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Reaction Time

Activities 2001 2018

  • 8 Editorial work
  • 2 Lecture / Presentation
  • 1 PhD thesis examination

Frontiers in Psychology: Cognition (Journal)

John Stins (Associate editor)

Activity: Peer review and Editorial workEditorial workAcademic


John Stins (Keynote speaker)
7 Dec 20188 Dec 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Human Movement Science (Journal)

J.F. Stins (Member of editorial board)

Activity: Peer review and Editorial workEditorial workAcademic

Factors Affecting the Accurate Detection of Trait Aggression from Gait

J.F. Stins (Examiner)
1 Mar 2016

Activity: PhD thesis ExaminationPhD thesis examination

Unknown journal (Journal)

J.F. Stins (Reviewer)

Activity: Peer review and Editorial workEditorial workAcademic