Elseline Hoekzema

e.a.hoekzema [at] fsw.leidenuniv [dot] nl


Elseline is a senior neuroscientist at the Brain & Development Research Center, where she directs a set of research studies investigating the neurobiology of pregnancy and motherhood. Elseline has a long-term interest in brain plasticity, and in her earlier research she investigated neural changes in response to various internal and external factors (such as medication, training, aging and hormones) in humans and in rats. In her postdoctoral work she specialized in neuroendocrinological research. Over the last several years, Elseline's research has focused on mapping the effects of pregnancy on a woman’s brain, a topic that she first started working on as a side-project during her PhD (obtained with highest honors from the Dept. of Cellular Biology of the UAB) and has continued to study during her postdoctoral career (at the Neuroendocrinology Bakker Group of the NIN/VU Medical Center). She moved to the Brain & Development Research Center at Leiden University to expand her research on this topic, and is currently leading several intertwined research projects that aim to further unravel the effects of pregnancy and motherhood on the human brain. She and her research team are investigating this by means of various neuroimaging approaches (such as sMRI, fMRI, DTI and MRS) combined with physiological (EMG, ECG, GSR), behavioral and hormonal measures. Her current research projects are funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Leids Universitair Fonds and the Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds.