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 (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.
Ilse van de Groep is a PhD Candidate at the SYNC lab and the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc) since 2018. In her PhD project, Ilse examines 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 is supervised by Eveline Crone, Marieke Bos, Arne Popma and Lucres Nauta-Jansen.
Ilse is one of the executive project coordinators within the RESIST project, a collaboration between researchers from Leiden University, VUMC and the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN). This project is also affiliated with NeuroLabNL.
Ilse obtained her Research Master in Social and Health Psychology at Utrecht University in 2016. Her master thesis focused on the prediction of sensory input based on self-performed actions (i.e., motor prediction) and how this information is used to determine (self-)agency. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant at the Experimental Psychopathology lab in Utrecht.
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.
Simone Dobbelaar is a PhD candidate at the SYNC lab at Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Brain and Development Research Center at Leiden University. During her PhD, Simone focuses on the role of the social environment in the neurocognitive development of social competence. Specifically, she is interested in the development of prosocial behavior and aggression regulation, and the co-occurence of these behaviors. Moreover, she tries to discover whether changes in the social environment, such as parenting behavior, can influence the development of prosocial behavior and emotion regulation on both a behavioral and neural level. Simone studies these questions in twins that are followed from middle childhood to early adolescence, as part of the longitudinal twin study of the Leiden Consortium on Individual Development. Her PhD project is supervised by Prof. dr. Eveline Crone, Dr. Anna van Duijvenvoorde and Dr. Michelle Achterberg.
During her bachelors Psychobiology and Psychology, Simone developed an interest in research that bridges the gap between brain and behavior. She obtained her Reseach Master Psychology at the University of Amsterdam with a specialization in Brain and Cognition and Clinical Psychology (2018, cum laude). Her master thesis in the Emotional Memory Lab of the University of Amsterdam focused on the role of context in declarative memory interference and was awarded as research master thesis of the year.
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.
Renske van der Cruijsen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Erasmus SYNC lab. Her research is focused on self-concept development during adolescence, encompassing behavioral and neural development in typically developing adolescents, as well as self-concept in relation to (sub)clinical conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), alexithymia, and internalizing problems. She applies a multidisciplinary approach including neuroimaging methods, experimental tasks, surveys, and behavioral observations. Furthermore, she is co-founder of our YoungXperts youth participation platform, and driven to connect science to society and policy. In these efforts she applies living lab methods such as citizen science making use of youth panels. By this means she aims to incorporate questions, needs, and ideas of adolescents into more fundamental developmental cognitive neuroscience research.
After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in child psychology, and a pre-master in neuropsychology, Renske completed a research master in cognitive neuroscience at the Radboud University Nijmegen and the Donders center for neuroscience. During her internship she worked on an EEG study on cognitive control in adolescents with and without ASD. In January 2016 Renske continued into her PhD trajectory supervised by Prof. Eveline Crone. During her PhD trajectory she conducted a three-wave longitudinal fMRI study in 189 adolescents, and a smaller cross-sectional neuroimaging study in adolescent boys with autism spectrum disorder. In her project she collaborated with several researchers, such as Prof. Jennifer Pfeifer at Oregon University, and Prof. Geoffrey Bird at King’s college London. Additionally, she obtained her University Teaching Qualification (BKO), and is involved in an array of citizen science initiatives and outreach projects. In 2021 she was awarded with the Best Societal Impact award for PhD Excellence by the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities.
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.
Lysanne te Brinke is a postdoctoral researcher at the Erasmus SYNC lab. She is interested in how adolescents navigate complex societal challenges (i.e., social inequality crisis, climate crisis, covid-19 crisis). Specifically, her work focuses on empowering adolescents to speak up (i.e., raising their voice) and to act act up (i.e., prosocial societal behavior).
Lysanne is currently leading an intervention study, in which she aims to examine how changes in emotional reactivity during adolescence result in opportunities for prosocial behavior, such as increases in societal contributions. She is co-founder of our YoungXperts youth participation platform and an advocate of citizen science. In her work, she aims to include the voices and creative ideas of adolescents. Moreover, she examines how innovative approaches (i.e., living labs) foster the implementation of scientific findings, while at the same time enabling adolescents to feel connected to – and heard in – society.
Aside from her passion for bridging science and practice, Lysanne actively contributes to the training and collaboration opportunities of early career researchers. She is appointed as president elect of the early career researchers union of the European Association for Developmental Psychology.
Lysanne has a background in developmental psychology and completed both a research master (2015) and clinical master (2016, cum laude) at Utrecht University. During her studies, she did a clinical internship at Curium-LUMC Leiden and obtained a certificate of psychological assessment (BAPD). In her PhD project at Utrecht University (2016-2020), Lysanne developed an experimental emotion regulation training for adolescents with externalizing behavior problems, and examined the relative effects of different treatment approaches, through the use of micro-trial designs. She also gained international experience: several travel grants enabled her to work at the Harvard Lab for Youth Mental and the Sydney Child Behavior Clinic. She successfully defended her PhD thesis “Interventions under the microscope: Emotion regulation as a treatment element for externalizing problems in adolescence” in March 2021.
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.