Sophie Sweijen is a PhD candidate in the SYNC lab. She focuses on the behavioral and neural developmental trajectories of prosocial behavioral and societal contributions during adolescence.

Her work is part of the longitudinal ERC consolidator ‘Brainlinks’ project, in which 142 adolescents are followed over the course of three years. The project focuses on the development of prosocial behavior in young individuals, using a variety of techniques (e.g. fMRI, laboratory tasks and questionnaires). She also works on the Urban Rotterdam Project examining how the social environment interacts with individual characteristics on developmental outcomes. Here, she specifically investigates adolescents’ opportunities for prosocial actions during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sophie completed her research master ‘Developmental Psychology’ at Leiden University in 2019. Her main interests lie in the social world of young individuals. During her studies, she assisted in multiple behavioral and fMRI studies investigating social learning, peer relations and risk taking in adolescence. For her master thesis, she focused on the developmental changes and individual differences in learning through social interactions.

Fabienne is junior researcher in the SYNC lab at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In addition, she is program manager of the youth participation platform YoungXperts.

She is particularly interested in the characteristics of the current generation of adolescents. Nowadays adolescents experience different societal challenges than older generations did when they were young. Knowing how generation characteristics, societal challenges and someone’s personal environment interact and affect development will enables us to provide adolescents with tools to grow up optimally. To study this she uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Most importantly, she believes adolescents should have a say in the matter which is why she is actively involved in our citizen science initiatives. Via our youth participation platform YoungXperts, she organises youth participation sessions, thereby aiming to bridge the gap between science and society.

Fabienne has a background in psychobiology (University of Amsterdam, 2016). After obtaining her bachelor degree she continued with the research master Brain and Cognitive Sciences (2020) at the University of Amsterdam. She has previously worked as a research assistant in the Brain and Development Lab in Leiden and the Sleep and Cognition lab in Amsterdam.