Prof. dr. Lydia Krabbendam

Lydia Krabbendam
Professor and Department Head Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Lydia Krabbendams research focuses on the development of social cognition and motivation in adolescence and young adulthood, using functional neuroimaging and experimental tasks in combination with ecological momentary assessment and social network analysis. She is further interested in the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying the emergence of psychopathology during this developmental phase.

More information can be found on her website

Prof. dr. Paul van Lange

Paul van Lange
Professor of Social Psychology – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Pauls research focuses on the evolutionary, psychological, and cultural aspects of trust and human cooperation to understand the workings and functions of aggression, altruism, empathy, fairness, norm-violations, morality in various interpersonal and intergroup contexts. Paul van Lange is also working as a distinguished research fellow at the University of Oxford.

More information can be found at his website:    

Prof. dr. Nienke van Atteveldt

Nienke van Atteveldt
Professor of Neuroscience and Society: Mind, Brain and Education – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Nienke’s research focuses on how children become motivated and resilient learners. Her lab investigates the developmental interplay between adolescents’ self-beliefs, functional brain development, and their learning trajectories and wellbeing in school. In addition, they use portable EEG in schools to provide adolescents an experience of control over their learning processes, and study the societal impact of neurotechnologies.

For more information, see:

dr. Jellie Sierksma

Jellie Sierksma
Assistant Professor – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Jellie Sierksma’s research focuses on young children’s (4-12 years) prosocial behavior and the development of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination. She studies these topics taking an interdisciplinary approach, combining insights from developmental, social, and educational psychology and by using experimental- and survey-methods. For more information, see:

dr. Nikki Lee

Nikki Lee

dr. Tieme Janssen

Tieme Janssen
Assistant Professor – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Janssen’s research covers cognitive neuroscience in healthy and clinical populations (e.g. ADHD) and neuroscience-based interventions (e.g. neurofeedback). He is motivated to take neuroscience research out of the lab and into working classrooms and other real-life settings, using mobile neuroimaging technology.

More information can be found on researchgate (

dr. Barbara Braams

Barbara Braams
Assistant Professor – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Barbara’s research focuses on adolescent neurocognitive development and decision-making. She is especially interested in (real life) risk-taking behavior and social influence on risk-taking behavior. In her research she uses a variety of techniques including fMRI, computational modeling, hormone assessments and laboratory tasks.

More information can be found on her website.

dr. Mariët van Buuren

Mariët van Buuren
Assistant Professor – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Mariët’s research focuses on how brain mechanisms contribute to inter-individual differences in the development of social cognitive abilities and social functioning in adolescents. Also, she is interested in the role of beliefs and feelings regarding mental health problems in social relationships of adolescents. In her research, she uses functional MRI during behavioral paradigms and resting-state, as well as hormone assessments, social network measures and ecological momentary assessment.

More information can be found on her website:

dr. TuongVan Vu

TuongVan Vu
Postdoctoral researcher – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

TuongVan Vu’s research focuses on self-concept (self-beliefs), social emotional cognition (theory of mind, emotion regulation), prosociality and learning. Or, in other words, she is interested in how what one thinks about oneself has implications for one’s social emotional functioning and learning. She has done works using a variety of methods including questionnaires, behavioral tasks, EEG, and fMRI.

More info can be found on 

Rebecca van Rijn
PhD student – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Rebecca’s research focuses on adolescent development and behaviour. Specifically, she investigates prosocial risk-taking behaviour and how social context or reputation influences this behaviour. Rebecca uses different techniques in her research, including functional MRI, laboratory tasks and behavioural measurements.

drs. Christel Klootwijk

Christel Klootwijk
PhD student – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Christel’s research mainly focuses on the development of prosocial behavior during childhood. Specifically, she investigates to what extent subtle prosocial behaviors affect children’s social relationships and interactions.