About me

Ondrej Havlicek cognitive scienceI used to be an active researcher in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and philosophy, focusing on the sense of agency, action, perception and more. Now I am keeping it as a “hobby” while working in industry as a data scientist. I also occasionally lecture on critical thinking, which is slowly becoming my main academic interest.

Research interests. What do actions tell the Self? I aim to understand the fundamental cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying our ability for and awareness of intentional action, how action influences perception, how we attribute agency to ourselves and how this contributes to our self-consciousness.

Research topics thus include e.g. the sense of agency, intentional action, predictive coding, action-perception links, sensory attenuation, visual attention, positive symptoms of schizophrenia, meta-cognition, free will, the self, and consciousness in general.

Research methods. Mostly behavioral experiments, psychophysics (RTs, SDT..), EEG (ERPs, time-frequency analysis), sometimes questionnaires.. Interest also in MVPA and DCM (fMRI or EEG). Sometimes an armchair, as the essential tool of philosophy!


  • National Institute of Mental Health, Czech Republic, working on a project of Yuliya Zaytseva, investigating the role of affective prediction in auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Previous affiliations.

Science and philosophy. I believe science is continuous with philosophy. As Quine (1960) has put it: “Philosophy … as an effort to get clearer on things, is not to be distinguished in essential points of purpose and method from good and bad science”. In my research, I am trying to empirically investigate concepts and cognitive processes relevant to philosophy of mind and in turn, to inform the scientific inquiry by the reflections of philosophy.

Popularization of science. I further believe that scientists owe it to the society to increase public understanding of science in general and of important science-related issues in particular. For instance, to explain the complicated problem of free will and how science has not disproved it, or to educate the public in general scientific literacy and critical thinking. This is also what my blog is for.

Critical thinking. Basic research and philosophy are terrific things, but I feel that I can contribute to society more effectively by promoting and engaging in the education of school pupils, students and the general public in critical thinking skills.

Short CV


2012 – 2016: Ph.D. at the GSN, LMU, Munich. Thesis “Challenges of Investigating the Sense of Agency by explicit and implicit methods”.

2010 – 2012: Master’s degree in Cognitive Informatics, minor in Philosophy, University of Economics in Prague

Fall 2011: Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

2006 – 2010: Bc in Applied Informatics, University of Economics in Prague

Professional experience

2018 – present: Data scientist at DataSentics

2012 – 2018: Researcher at the Department of General and Experimental Psychology, LMU, Munich.

2011 – 2012: Research project at the Institute of Chemical Technology Prague (EEG recording and analysis)

2008 – 2012: Freelancer, working in the field of IS/ICT (Business Intelligence, programming…)