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.

Nienke is junior researcher at the SYNC lab and is involved in our citizen science project YoungXperts. This project aims to include the voices of adolescents in scientific research by organizing living labs (i.e. interactive brainstorms) at schools and youth organisations in Rotterdam.

As junior researcher, she manages the YoungXperts project. She is concerned with the organization and implementation of the brainstorm sessions and workshops. She maintains contact with school leaders and youth workers. Furthermore, she helps with the recruitment and marketing of YoungXperts.

Nienke has a background in communication and media and obtained her master in Consumer Marketing at the University of Amsterdam in 2021. She has working experience in marketing and project management. Nienke is interested in youth participation and how scientists can recruit and include a diverse group of young people from different social backgrounds in their research.