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.

Recognitions

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 (www.kijkinjebrein.nl).

In 2020, Eveline and her group launched the youth platform YoungXperts (www.youngXperts.nl). 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.

Lina is working as a PhD candidate on ‘Individual differences in environmental and genetic effects on structural brain development’ at the SYNC lab in Rotterdam and the Brain and Development lab in Leiden. Since there are changes in brain development around early puberty, she wants to find out how these variations are sensitive to puberty and sex. Furthermore, Lina aims to unravel individual differences in sensitive periods of brain development. Sensitive periods reflect ages in which the developing individual is more susceptible to environmental effects, such as musical training. To do so she will work on a twin sample aged between 7-13 years old, including three longitudinal measures. This project is supervised by Prof. Dr. Eveline Crone and Dr. Lara Wierenga and part of the Leiden Consortium on Individual Development (L-CID).

During her bachelor Psychobiology, Lina developed an interest in research while contributing to a project on social exclusion at the la Sapienza University in Rome. For the first time she felt the rush of science and an urge to develop herself as a researcher. The research master Cognitive Neurobiology and Clinical Neurophysiology in Amsterdam helped her gain confidence in finding solutions to complicated research problems.

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.

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). 

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.

Ilse van de Groep is a Healthy Start Fellow working in the SYNC lab and the Clinical Psychology department of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research mainly focuses on the behavioral and neural development of antisocial behavior in young adulthood, and on strategies to support and motivate young adults with antisocial behavior and addiction problems to pursue their own long-term goals.

Ilse is passionate about finding mechanistic explanations for complex social behavior and greatly enjoys the most creative aspects of research and science communication. She often uses her creative skills to share newly acquired knowledge with a wider audience (e.g. blogging, workshops, e-magazines) or to create platforms and supporting media to enable this (e.g. websites, graphic design, photography).

Ilse has a background in Social and Health Psychology and completed her research Master in Utrecht in 2016. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant at the Experimental Psychopathology lab in Utrecht. In her PhD project (2018-2022), Ilse examined several mechanisms that underlie distinct developmental trajectories of social and antisocial behavior in emerging adulthood, with a specific focus on the neural correlates of self-concept, vicarious reward learning, social evaluation and aggression regulation. She was supervised by prof. Eveline Crone, dr. Marieke Bos, prof. Lucres Nauta-Jansen and prof. Arne Popma. In April 2023, she defended her dissertation called “Resisting, Desisting or Persisting? Neural Correlates of Antisocial and Psychopathic Pathways in Early Adulthood”.

Yara Toenders is a postdoctoral researcher at the Erasmus SYNC lab. She is interested in mental health during development from childhood to young adulthood.

Yara previously did her PhD at the Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne in Australia. During her PhD she focused on depression in young people, more specifically on the onset of depression and the heterogeneity of depression. She was also involved in the international ENIGMA MDD consortium, a worldwide effort to combine data to increase our understanding of depression.

Before her PhD, Yara obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and finished a Neurobiology research master at the University in Amsterdam. During this Master she first gained experience with neuroimaging in young people. At the Amsterdam Medical Centre, she studied brain connectivity in children with a posttraumatic stress disorder.

Stephan is a part-time postdoctoral research engineer at the Erasmus SYNC lab, where he focuses on building reproducible analysis pipelines and data management processes for neuroimaging data. 

Stephan has an M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering and Robotics from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He worked as a commercial and software engineer for four years in two industries (Industrial Automation and Enterprise Mobility) before moving to the Netherlands with the goal of conducting research in neuroscience. His doctoral research at the Eindhoven University of Technology and in collaboration with Philips Research focused on developing new acquisition and signal processing methods for functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that allow improved tracking and visualisation of brain activity in real-time.

Stephan is passionate about brains, accessible education, and making scientific practice more transparent and inclusive. Throughout his doctoral research, he has been active in the Dutch network of Open Science Communities and he founded OpenMR Benelux, a community working on wider adoption of open science practices in MRI research through talks, discussions, workshops and hackathons. Stephan has since continued this passion as a Research Data and Software Engineer at the Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany, where he works on software solutions for neuroinformatics and decentralised research data management.

Suzanne van de Groep is an assistant professor at the department of Psychology, Education, and Child Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam and affiliated with the Erasmus SYNC Lab. Her research mainly focuses on the behavioral and neural development of prosocial behaviors in adolescence.

Prosocial behaviors (i.e., behaviors that benefit others) such as giving, cooperating, and helping are essential for forming and maintaining social relationships, which is an important developmental goal in adolescence. Suzanne’s work specifically focuses on the development of different types of prosocial behaviors, and how this is shaped by social contexts and individual differences. Her most recent endeavors include the investigation of social temporal discounting, online prosocial behaviors, longitudinal brain development within individuals related to giving, as well as adolescents’ wellbeing.

Suzanne has a background in developmental psychology and completed her research masters in Leiden in 2016 (cum laude). During her PhD, Suzanne has played a large role in setting up an ERC consolidator project called ‘Brainlinks’, a longitudinal three-wave fMRI study in which 142 adolescents and their parents were followed over the course of several years. To gain a better understanding of prosocial development, this project includes fMRI tasks, experimental tasks, questionnaires, hormone data, and daily diaries (see Projects for a video on the Brainlinks project). In February 2022, she defended her PhD dissertation called ‘Growing in Generosity? Unraveling the effects of benefactor-, beneficiary-, and situational characteristics on the development of giving and its neural correlates in adolescence’, which was supervised by Prof. Eveline Crone and Dr. Kiki Zanolie. After her PhD, she did a 9-month postdoc at the Erasmus SYNC lab to extend her fundamental developmental neuroscience research with citizen science projects and a broader perspective on how adolescents’ role in society shapes their social behavior and wellbeing.

Apart from gaining a better understanding of prosocial development, Suzanne has a passion for connecting science and society, for example through science communication and citizen science projects, as well as mentoring, talent development, and recognition and rewards in academia.

Suzanne was awarded several grants and prizes, including a grant to visit UCLA during her PhD, two EGSH PhD Excellence Awards (best societal impact and best poster), a DPECS Dragon’s Den seed fund, and a NWA Science Communication Grant (together with her YoungXperts colleagues).

Michelle Achterberg is an assistant professor at the Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies (DPECS) at Erasmus University Rotterdam and affiliated with the Erasmus SYNC-lab. Her research line focusses on the nature, nurture and neural mechanisms of social emotion regulation in childhood and adolescence.

Michelle is a junior PI on the Leiden Consortium on Individual Development (L-CID), a large longitudinal twin study on brain development in childhood and adolescence. Within this study Michelle specifically focusses on longitudinal brain development and its relation to social information processing and behavioral control. Additionally, she has expertise on 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, where she gained her first experience with neuroimaging in children. During the second year of her studies, she joined the Brian and Development Research Center at Leiden University as a research assistant.

Following her passion for developmental neuroscience, Michelle started her PhD project in 2014 as part of the Leiden Consortium on Individual Development at Leiden University under supervision of Prof. dr. Eveline Crone, Prof. dr. Marian Bakermans- Kranenburg and Dr. Anna van Duijvenvoorde. Michelle received her PhD “Nature, nurture and neural mechanisms of social emotion regulation” in 2020 cum laude. For her PhD research, she received the Dutch Neurofederation PhD Thesis Prize in 2021.

During her postdoc at the SYNC lab (2020-2022), Michelle aimed to bridge the gap between fundamental science and societal challenges by incorporating co-creation methods to her studies, such as brain storm sessions and living labs. As an assistant professor, Michelle remains involved in SYNC’s research projects and societal impact initiatives.