Prof. Eveline Crone is full professor in Developmental Neuroscience in Society and she leads the Society, Youth and Neuroscience Connected (SYNC) Lab. Eveline’s research examines the psychological and neural processes involved in self-regulation and social development. All of her work employs a developmental cognitive neuroscience approach to examine the relation between brain development and changes in psychological processes from birth to adulthood, with a special focus on adolescence. One of her special interests involves enrichment of cognitive and social experiences of children and adolescents using longitudinal, training and intervention designs. Eveline and the members of her research group regularly publish in leading international journals. Besides her mission to do innovative and excellent scientific research, her lab invests in the contribution and translation of scientific findings to society.


Eveline received her PhD ‘Performance monitoring and decision-making” in 2003 cum laude. For her PhD research, she received the NVP Best Dissertation Award in 2005, the J. C. Ruigrok Prize in 2007 and the Junior Heymans Award in 2008. In 2009 she received the Huibregtsen Prize for Science and Society from the Minister of Science and Education. In 2011 she received LNVH Early Career Award for the Social Sciences and the Early Career Award of the Society for Psychophysiological Research in Boston (USA). In 2017 she received the Ammodo KNAW award, and in 2018 the KNAW Hendrik Muller Award for contributions to the social sciences. Eveline received the Spinoza award for her research on the adolescent brain in 2017. The Spinoza award is the highest recognition in Dutch Science.

In 2012 she was elected as member of Academia Europaea and of the Royal Dutch Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW), in 2013 of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and in 2021 she was elected as corresponding member of the British Academy. In 2017 she joined the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), as of 2020 as Vice-President. She is board member of Flux: The Society for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and incoming president.

From Science to Society

In addition to her scientific work, Eveline has been successfully communicating her findings to the general public. In 2018 she published the revision of the Dutch book “Het puberende brein” for a wide audience, of which over 100,000 copies have been sold. The book has been translated into six languages. In this book, Eveline Crone explains the influence of brain development on learning, risk-taking and the social relations and friendships of adolescents. Eveline and members of her research group also provide information for teachers and youth workers in workshops and presentations (

In 2020, Eveline and her group launched the youth platform YoungXperts ( This Living Lab is a collaborative platform for youth, scientists, policy makers and professionals. Through iterative science approaches adolescents provide crucial input on the scientific priorities.

If you are interested in Eveline’s Curriculum Vitae, you can find it here.

Ties Fakkel is a postdoctoral researcher at the Erasmus SYNC Lab. His broader focus is on understanding how adolescents end up with a similar or different socioeconomic position compared to their parents. Specifically, Ties studies socioeconomic differences in adolescent psychosocial competencies and examines how these competencies contribute to socioeconomic outcomes in early adulthood, such as educational attainment, occupational status, and income.

At the SYNC Lab, Ties is primarily involved with The Urban Rotterdam project and YoungXperts. These projects provide unique quantitative and qualitative data to understand what young people in Rotterdam perceive as causes of poverty. Rotterdam has a relatively high number of people living in poverty, but Rotterdam also has a relatively high number of young people. Their insights have the potential to foster a more sustainable and resilient future for our city.

Besides collecting data on important topics, Ties is also highly motivated to disseminate novel research findings. Through his work at the SYNC Lab – but also through his initiatives at Addendum – Ties regularly strives to make science more tangible for a broader audience. According to Ties, co-creation is at the heart of new wave social science, a vision broadly shared within the SYNC Lab.

Anne-Wil is a postdoctoral researcher at the Erasmus SYNC lab. She is interested in the development and interplay of motivation, effort, and learning in education and everyday life. In the SYNC lab, she is part of the YoungXperts team and leads the project on Youth Perspective on Climate Change together with various societal partners. Additionally, she is involved in the Urban Rotterdam Project.

Anne-Wil completed her PhD at the Department of Developmental Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. During her PhD, she studied how adolescents make decisions to invest effort in learning. She also studied how we may increase adolescents’ motivation, and what neural mechanisms are involved in this.

Anne-Wil also has a passion for teaching and is currently a teacher at the University of Amsterdam and involved in the development of learning materials together with educational publishers, libraries, other teachers, and schools. Before her PhD, Anne-Wil obtained a bachelor’s degree in Pedagogical Sciences and Education Studies and completed a Research Master in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and Statistics at the University of Amsterdam.

Kayla Green is a PhD candidate in the Erasmus SYNC Lab. Her work focuses on the behavioural and neural predictors of wellbeing during adolescence and young adulthood. She investigates the short- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents’ mental health: which vulnerabilities put some adolescents at risk to be disproportionably hit by the pandemic, and are there protective factors that might buffer against the negative impact of the pandemic on mental health? In addition, she leads the longitudinal Braintime project on brain development during adolescence. She aims to shed light on how structural brain development and neural activation in subcortical brain regions during adolescence may lead to greater wellbeing later in life depending on one’s social environment. 

She is co-founder and social media officer of the YoungXperts youth participation platform. She is passionate about connecting science to society and policy. Green uses living lab methods, like citizen science, to stimulate the combination of impact-driven research and more (fundamental) curiosity-driven research in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience. 

Green is also a member of the Diversity & Inclusion office, where she works on projects that are aimed at increasing the proportion of underrepresented groups in higher education and improving the success and wellbeing of underrepresented EUR-students.

Green has a background in psychology (Utrecht University, 2015). After obtaining her bachelor degree, she continued with the research master Neuroscience & Cognition (2018) and the clinical master Neuropsychology (2017) at Utrecht University. She did her clinical internship at the Neurology and Geriatrics Department of the Spijkenisse Medisch Centrum, where is also obtained her BAPD (certificate in psychodiagnostics). 

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.

Lotte van Rijn is a PhD candidate in the Growing Up Together in Society (GUTS) research program as part of the Rotterdam cohort. She is supervised by Eveline Crone, Lydia Krabbendam, and Anna van Duivenvoorde. Lotte is a member of the team coordinating data collection for the consortium in Rotterdam, collaborating with a team at VU Amsterdam. The project will focus on the impact of social and societal opportunities on individual, academic and social outcomes. The potential mediating or moderating role of self-regulation in these processes will be investigated as part of Lotte’s PhD project.

Lotte received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Leiden University in 2020. She then obtained her Research Master in Cognitive Neuroscience (Cum Laude) at Leiden University in 2023. Her thesis, supervised by Lara Wieringa, focused on gender differences in brain structure variance that could relate to gender differences in ASD prevalence. Afterwards, Lotte continued to work for the LCID study (Leiden Consortium on Individual Development), where she was part of a team conducting the 7th wave of data collection.

Ethell is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus SYNC lab, working on the GUTS project. Her research focuses on the developmental trajectories of trust in adolescents and the influence of their socio-economic status and ethnic backgrounds. Ethell is particularly interested in fMRI research and is intrigued by the development of youth from diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Ethell’s work is part of the Growing Up Together in Society (GUTS) project, a longitudinal study exploring how adolescents grow up in an increasingly complex society. The project encourages interdisciplinary research, and Ethell’s work combines developmental psychology with sociological perspectives.

As part of the first work package (WP1) in the GUTS project, Ethell’s research focuses on the influence of adolescents’ socio-economic status. Her research will address how adolescents’ trust in society develops and whether adolescent’s trust differs depending on their SES and ethnic background. To this end, she will employ a variety of methods including fMRI, questionnaires, behavioral assessments, and youth participation.

Ethell is part of the YoungXperts platform, which involves youth in science and amplifies their opinions. She is committed to making science accessible for young people and plans to implement YoungXperts’ methods of youth participation in her research.

Prior to her PhD, Ethell completed her master’s in Biomedical Sciences – Neurosciences at the University of Antwerp in 2023. Her master’s thesis focused on developing and assessing visual fMRI paradigms to engage brain regions involved in the perception of equilibrium and balance.

Eleni supports Erasmus Professor Eveline Crone in her mission to create positive social impact. The focus of my activities is on helping people achieve their goals, forging valuable connections, and improving processes with a keen eye for customer-centricity. My work involves organizing events, bringing people together, optimizing workflow and facilitating research initiatives within the Erasmus SYNC Lab.

Noura is knowledge coordinator at Erasmus SYNC lab. As knowledge coordinator, she is involved with the overarching societal impact of SYNC lab. Noura connects and manages different projects and is concerned with developing policy and outreach visions for SYNC lab. She collaborates closely with the researchers within the lab and is always on the lookout for collaboration opportunities with societal partners.   Noura has a background in Literary Studies. She obtained a research master Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam and a master Educational Sciences at Utrecht University. Throughout her studies, Noura has always had an interest in studying complex social issues and bridging the gap between research and practice. She has working experience in educational policy, consultancy and instructional design.

Sterre is science communication manager at the SYNC lab and for the Gravitation program ‘Growing Up Together in Society (GUTS)’. She translates scientific matters into language that is understandable for everyone and exchanges this with society. She works on projects to effectively increase public engagement and societal impact of the research.

Sterre has a background in neuroscience and finished her master’s degree in Neuroscience & Cognition at Utrecht University in 2021. Her final thesis dealt with how social media brings opportunities for adolescent social (brain) development while physical distancing in times of Covid-19. During her masters, Sterre started her specialization in the field of science communication. Among several other science communication projects, she was fully committed to the editorial board of a popular science magazine for six months.

Sterre expanded her expertise during her position as outreach officer for the Social Resilience & Security program at Leiden University. Throughout her career, she developed (and carried out) high school guest lectures, created podcasts, organized youth panels, designed activities for science festivals and various other ways to connect science to society.