Welcome to the Brain and Development Lab

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The Brain and Development lab is located in the Psychology department of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Leiden University.

Our lab explores the relations between brain development and social and cognitive development. A special focus of the lab is to investigate how brain development, including changes in function, structure, and connectivity, relates to typical and atypical development of cognitive control, emotions and risk-taking, and social decision-making.

Our research projects aim to examine the fundamental changes in brain function that underlie our ability to anticipate, produce and evaluate complex decisions in daily life. Our goals are to shed light on classic developmental questions related to mechanisms underlying developmental change, with a particular focus on the role of social and environmental influence, such as parent-child and peer interactions, on how brain development takes place.

We participate in the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), which is an interfaculty center for interdisciplinary research on brain and cognition, supported by the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Faculties of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Arts, and Mathematics & Natural Sciences of Leiden University (see www.libc-leiden.nl). Within the LIBC, we are part of the LIBC-Junior hotspot (see www.libc-junior.nl).




The Brain and Development lab has welcomed a new researcher: Elseline Hoekzema. With her VENI grant awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Elseline will examine the effects of pregnancy hormones on the human brain. Welcome Elseline!


NWO grant€1.5 million grant for Eveline Crone. Eveline Crone has been awarded the Vici grant by the Netherlands Scientific Organisation (NWO). With her project "The neural signature of self development in adolescence" Eveline will investigate the neural basis for identity and self concept development across adolescence.


On February 19 2015, Sandy Overgaauw will defend her dissertation entitled “ Social reorientation in adolescence: Neurobiological changes and individual differences in empathic concern".

Please click here to learn more about her disseration.

Research openings