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 new Spinoza-funded line of research on the wellbeing of young individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, she coordinates the project focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on adolescents’ and students’ wellbeing, self-oriented and prosocial behavior, and the use of social media.

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.

Research interests: adolescence – neural development – prosocial behavior – societal contributions – young adulthood

van de Groep, S. W., Zanolie, K., Green, K. H., Sweijen, S. W., & Crone, E. A. M. (2020). A daily diary study on adolescents’ mood, empathy, and prosocial behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. PLoS One (online), 15(10).

Vogelaar, B., Sweijen, S. W., & Resing, W. C. M. (2019). Gifted and average-ability children’s potential for solving analogy items. Journal of Intelligence, 7(3). doi:

Vogelaar, B., Resing, W. C. M., Stad, F. E., & Sweijen, S. W. (2019). Is planning related to dynamic testing outcomes? Investigating the potential for learning of gifted and average-ability children. Acta Psychologica, 196, 87-95. doi:

Harrewijn, A., Van der Molen, M. J. W., Verkuil, B., Sweijen, S. W., Houwing-Duistermaat, J. J., & Westenberg, P. M. (2018). Heart rate variability as candidate endophenotype of social anxiety: A two-generation family study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 237, 47-55. doi:

Sweijen, S. W. (2017). Beta and theta oscillatory dynamics in response to social evaluative feedback processing: Neural markers of anxious temperament? Student Undergraduate Research E-Journal!, 3, 241-244. doi: