Does Human nature exist, and if so, does it matter?

The Scorpion and the FrogAn old Russian fable tells the story of a Scorpion and a Frog. The scorpion, who can’t swim, asks a frog to carry it across the river sitting on its back. The frog hesitates, knowing the danger of playing piggyback with a deadly scorpion. With a smooth voice, the scorpion declares that she wouldn’t dare sting …

Predicting the colors of our emotions

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for months now and we are getting into different situations than we are normally used to – such as working from home – many of us try to detect why we feel differently before and after the virus jumped into our lives. But how good are we in detecting the rush of …

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Co-creation in times of COVID: lessons learned from our first virtual adolescent expert panel

In our research on brain development adolescents are typically involved as participants, but rarely asked for their expert opinion. It’s our vision that science becomes better when conducted together with societal partners, including through youth panels and co-creation. The current pandemic presents a challenge to achieve such co-creation, as live get togethers are no longer desirable. Instead of postponing and …

Interview: How COVID-19 Influences Youth Delinquency (Dutch)

Yesterday, Ilse van de Groep was interviewed by Radio 1 presenter Myrthe van der Drift. During the interview, they discussed the recent increase in juveline delinquency, the RESIST project and how juvenile delinquency is influenced by the current COVID crisis. You can listen to the interview here.

Kian Westbrook’s tribute to Chadwick Boseman. Source: CNN

#ThankYouChadwickBoseman: the desire to be motivated and inspired by others

During the summer break I took a moment to reflect on this year’s struggles; the worldwide pandemic crisis, the racial injustice, how the racism debate (although how can racism still be a debate?) keeps polarizing us instead of bringing us together, and of course climate change it is still here and real… I thought we had seen it all for …

This is not art: why people differ in their appreciation of (abstract) art

A few years ago, when I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the paintings on display caught my attention. It was Autumn Rhythm, Number 30, by Jackson Pollock. Or rather, I was drawn by the many different ways in which people seemed to interact with the work. Some people appreciated the seemingly soothing patterns and fractals, while others mainly …

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Hit the breaks! The importance of taking downtime

This summer got me thinking about how easy it is when you work in academics to just keep on going. Summertime is the time you can take it easy or even go on a holiday, but you may find yourself tempted to (finally) focus on your research since you probably have little teaching obligations. I have always been focused on …

About time, for a blog

“What, July already!?” I think, as I receive emails from the University about the close of the academic year. These past 7 months feel to have gone by in the blink of an eye. At the same time, the start of the lockdown in the Netherlands (that started on the 12th of March), has created a divide in my mind; …

What the hack? Bringing about a practical tool through open collaboration

Recently, we released an MRI data sharing guide for Dutch researchers. This is a tool for researchers who want to share brain MRI data but do not know where to start. Such a practical tool is an output form that we as researchers are not very much used to. Creating this guide was therefore a very different process compared to …