Onder Professoren AD Groene Hart

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Ik sprak met het AD Groene Hart over mijn onderzoek naar hersenontwikkeling en sociaal gedrag bij jongeren, en waarom een ongeremd brein tijdens de adolescentie juist heel nuttig kan zijn!

Initiatiefnota Jongerenwelzijn

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Op 1 juni plaatste de krant van Oudewater een artikel over het initiatiefvoorstel die ik samen met de lokale politieke partij VVDenD66 Oudewater heb opgezet. Binnen het initiatief pleitte we voor meer aandacht voor de negatieve impact van de COVID-19 maatregelen op het (sociale) welzijn van jongeren. Daarnaast benadrukken we het belang van autonomie van jongeren en het betrekken van de mening van jongeren bij de beleidsvorming. Het initiatief is enthousiast ontvangen door de gemeente Oudewater. 

Puberty and physical education

On may 19th I gave a lecture during the general members meeting of the Leiden division of the Koninklijke Vereniging voor Lichamelijke Opvoeding (KVLO). In my lecture I explained how the brain changes and matures during puberty and development, and discussed how this biological and psychological changes might reflect certain behaviors during the physical education classes at primary - and high school. 


The adolescent brain & financial risks

Last month I gave a lecture for Schouders Eronder & Zorgverzekeringslijn on their theme day: How do we reach young people with financial issues (i.e., health insurance debts) 

In my lecture I discussed that in order to help youth with debts, it is important to take into account knowledge from developmental neuroscience. We know why adolescents often take more risks, they crave for independence and are more sensitive to peer pressure. We often see that interventions try to reverse this kinds of behaviour - However, I propose professionals can try to use these underlying motivations of young people in dealing with debt correctly, for example by setting healthy financial group norms or introducing buddy-systems. 

Co-creation in times of COVID

Blog on the lessons learned from our first virtual adolescent expert panel

In our research on brain development adolescents are typically involved as participants, but rarely asked for their expert opinion. It’s our vision that science becomes better when conducted together with societal partners, including through youth panels and co-creation. The current pandemic presents a challenge to achieve such co-creation, as live get togethers are no longer desirable. Instead of postponing and waiting for better times, we decided to think of innovative ways to start co-creation in times of COVID-19. I designed a virtual format for youth expert panel sessions. In this blog I shared some lessons we learned while setting up and conducting our first virtual youth expert panel. We hope to inspire other researchers to include youth experts by sharing our experiences and the lessons we learned.


How are we and our environment dealing with (the consequences of) the corona crisis?
The corona crisis has radically changed all of our lives. On Friday, December 11th, 500 Rotterdam youngsters between 13 and 23 years old will discuss the impact of corona and resilience during the Youth Top010. As chair I supervise the conversation among young people on the basis of Socratic dialogue.

Child development and traffic safety

Together with Veilig Verkeer Nederland I developed short video clips with tips and tricks for parents regarding traffic safety and traffic education, based on solid scientific findings. There are four video's aimed at parents with children aged 0-4, 4-8, 8-12 and 12-16. The video's are in Dutch.  

I really liked working on this project and learned so much of it. I think this is a great example of how we can bridge the gap between scientific findings and practical implications for everyday life!

PhD thesis vlog

In this 7 minute video I highlight the most important findings of my PhD project!


Topdoks is a Dutch educational TV programme about science and technology. In this episode Mara van der Meulen and I are showing the presentor how the MRI works, and how the brain processes emotions

Kijk in je brein!

www.kijkinjebrein.nl is a Dutch outreach webpage with several research topics about developmental (neuro)science. In this video I explain how we can study the brain and how MRI research with kids works