Michelle Achterberg is a postdoctoral researcher with an interest in social emotional development. In her studies, she focusses on the underlying neural mechanisms of, and environmental influences on, social emotion regulation in childhood.

Michelle collaborates on a large longitudinal twin study on brain development in childhood and emerging adolescence, as part of the Leiden Consortium on Individual Development (L-CID)). Within this study Michelle specifically focusses on longitudinal brain development and its relation to social information processing and behavioral control. Additionally, she is expanding her knowledge of functional and structural brain connectivity and investigates how brain development is influenced by genes and the environment.

Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Research Master’s degree in Neuroscience. During her masters, Michelle worked as a research intern at the department of (child) psychiatry, University Medical Center Utrecht, were she gained her first experience with neuroimaging in children. Following her passion for developmental neuroscience, Michelle joined Eveline Crone’s Brain and Development Lab in 2014. In 2016 Michelle received a KNAW ter Meulen grant and Leiden University Fund to visit Prof. dr. Nim Tottenham at Columbia University New York. Michelle has presented her work on numerous national and international conferences and has received several trainee and travel awards.

In March 2020, Michelle defended her PhD thesis on “the nature, nurture and neural mechanisms of social emotion regulation in childhood”, for which she received the highest distinction (cum laude).

Research interests: Behavioral control, Social Emotion Regulation, Neural Development

Achterberg, M., van Duijvenvoorde, A. C. K., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. & Crone, E. A. (in Press) Longitudinal changes in DLPFC activation during childhood are related to decreased aggression following social rejection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, doi: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1915124117

Konijn, E.A., & Achterberg, M. (in Press) Neuropsychology of Emotional Responsiveness to Media. In J. van den Bulck (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology. John Wiley & Sons.

Van der Meulen, M., Wierenga, L. M., Achterberg, M., Drenth, N., van IJzendoorn, M.H. & Crone, E. A. (in Press) Shared genetic and environmental influences on structure of the social brain in children. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

Achterberg, M. & van der Meulen, M. (2019) Genetic and environmental influences on MRI scan quantity and quality. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 38, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100667

Achterberg, M., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., van IJzendoorn, M. H., van der Meulen, M., Tottenham, N. & Crone, E. A. (2018) Distinctive heritability patterns of subcortical-prefrontal cortex resting state connectivity in childhood: A twin study. Neuroimage, 175, pp. 138-149. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.03.076 

Achterberg, M., van Duijvenvoorde, A. C. K., van der Meulen, M., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. & Crone, E. A. (2018) Heritability of aggression following social evaluation in middle childhood: An fMRI study. Human Brain Mapping, 39, pp. 2828-2841. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.24043 

van der Meulen, M., Steinbeis, N., Achterberg, M., van IJzendoorn, M. H., & Crone, E. A. (2018). Heritability of neural reactions to social exclusion and prosocial compensation in middle childhood. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 34, 42-52. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.05.010 

Achterberg, M., van Duijvenvoorde, A. C. K., van der Meulen, M., Euser, S., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. & Crone, E. A. (2017) The neural and behavioral correlates of social evaluation in childhood. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, pp. 107-117. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2017.02.007 

Bos, D.J., Oranje, B., Achterberg, M., Vlaskamp, C., Ambrosino, S., de Reus, M. A., van der Heuvel, M. P. & Rombouts, S. A. R. B. (2017). Structural and functional connectivity in children and adolescents with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58, pp. 810-818. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12712 

van der Meulen, M., Steinbeis, N., Achterberg, M., Bilo, E., van den Bulk, B. G., van IJzendoorn, M. H., & Crone, E. A. (2017). The neural correlates of dealing with social exclusion in childhood. Neuropsychologia, 103, 27-39. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.07.008 

Achterberg, M.*, Peper, J. S*., van Duijvenvoorde, A. C., Mandl, R. C. & Crone, E. A. (2016). Frontostriatal White Matter Integrity Predicts Development of Delay of Gratification: A Longitudinal Study, Journal of Neuroscience, 36, pp. 1954-1961. doi: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3459-15.2016
*shared first author

Achterberg, M., van Duijvenvoorde, A. C., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. & Crone, E. A. (2016) Control your anger! The neural basis of aggression regulation in response to negative social feedback. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11, pp. 712-720. doi: https:/doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsv154

Van Duijvenvoorde, A. C. K., Achterberg, M., Braams, B. R., Peters, S., & Crone, E. A. (2016). Testing a dual-systems model of adolescent brain development using resting-state connectivity analyses. Neuroimage, 1, 409-420. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.04.069