IASAS Leadership

Science Director


Romke Rouw

IASAS Science Director

Romke Rouw studied Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, and received her PhD in 2001 from Tilburg University. During her doctoral thesis (with Prof. Beatrice de Gelder) she studied the ‘special’ processes involved in face recognition. In 2001, she returned to the University of Amsterdam as faculty member in the group Brain and Cognition at the Psychology department. She currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, gives lectures to academic and non-academic audiences, has management functions at the UvA, and performs cognitive and neuroscience research. Her research is on perception and sensations, with a particular fascination for the surprisingly loose relationship between the stimulus input from our physical environment on the one hand, and the rich sensations in our private mental world on the other hand. This is not only the case for ‘special cases’ such as synesthesia; during a one-year visit to the lab of professor Kosslyn at Harvard University she examined the similarities between visual percepts and visual mental images. She currently studies the cognitive and neuroscientific mechanisms underlying extraordinary sensations. She finds synesthesia a great example of how ‘different’ sensations do not need to be ‘bad’! She is a visiting scholar at University of California, San Diego, since 2011.

Science Coordinator


Candita Wager

IASAS Science Coordinator

Candita Wager will contribute her skills and talents to IASAS in the role of Science Coordinator. She is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley where she completed an interdisciplinary course of study with a major concentration focused on synesthesia, perception, and cognition. Ms. Wager has presented at the Stanford Conference for Interdisciplinary Research with a poster version of a study she designed to investigate the link between mood disorders and synesthesia. She won an honorable mention at this event for a research and ethics presentation challenge. Ms. Wager has also presented her research on the link between cross-modal perception and mood dysregulation at the 2016 United Kingdom Synaesthesia Association annual conference at Trinity College, Dublin Ireland. Additionally, she has worked as a research assistant at the Palmer Lab for Visual Aesthetics at UC Berkeley. A classical mezzo-soprano and musician, Ms. Wager has served as the San Francisco Chapter GRAMMY U representative. She is committed to leveraging the social capital of her research and pubic service opportunities to benefit the 2017 IASAS agenda.