Welcome to the Leiden based

Brain and Development Research Center

Discover our research projects:


Raging hormones in the gifted.


In adolescense, a social reorientation takes place. How does this influence learning?

Self concept

Self-report is sensitive to response bias. Different components of self-concept can be reliably assessed using functional neuroimaging


Working together with societal partners to investigate optimal learning conditions and social safety of youth.

Learning together

We examine when and how changes in different types of social learning emerge during adolescence.


Investigating the effect of bullying on brain development.

Effects of alcohol

Investigating the effect of alcohol consumption on brain development.

Prosocial behaviour

Prosocial behaviour strongly develops during adolescence.


Investigating developmental changes in cognitive control, impulse regulation and social-emotional functions during childhood, adolescence and emerging adulthood

Risk taking in ADHD youth

Does social influence mitigate or increase risk taking in ADHD youth?

Minor’s hearing rights

Should the current formal procedural position and hearing rights of minors be extended?

Social competence and environment

Why are not all children equally responsive to variations in the social environment?

Inhibition and creativity

The prefrontal cortex has the most protracted developmental trajectory and plays a key role in forming connections to other parts of the brain


Investigating self-concept, aggression regulation and vicarious reward learning in youth who have been arrested by the police before the age of twelve years.

About our Brain Center:

The Brain and Development Research Center examines neural factors underlying behavioral adaptation and social development.

Our research projects aim to examine changes in brain structure and function that underlie youth’s ability to anticipate, produce and evaluate decisions in their daily environments. Our motivation is to shed light on developmental processes with a particular focus on the role of social and environmental factors, such as parent and peer interactions.

With our studies, we would like to contribute to the quest in unraveling the neurobiological and social factors that influence growth trajectories. Ultimately, with our research we hope to contribute to creating opportunities for youth to grow up in a fast-changing social and digital society.

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).

Read More →

Meet our principal investigators:

Lara Wierenga

Principal Investigator

Kiki Zanolie

Principal Investigator

Eveline Crone

Principal Investigator

Sabine Peters

Principal Investigator

Marieke Bos

Principal Investigator

Berna Güroğlu

Principal Investigator

Jiska Peper

Principal Investigator

Anna van Duijvenvoorde

Principal Investigator

Latest publications:

Familiarity and audience effects on giving: An fMRI study.

van de Groep, S., Zanolie, K., & Crone, E. A. (in press). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

In press 

Developmental changes in DLPFC activation in childhood are related to decreased aggression following social rejection.

Achterberg, M. (in press). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In press 

Neuropsychological underpinnings of emotional responsiveness to media.

Konijn, E. A., & Achterberg, M. (in press). In The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology.

In press 

Neural reward-related responses to monetary gains for self and charity are associated with donating behavior in adolescence.

Spaans, J. P., Peters, S., & Crone, E. A. (2020). Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.


Self and Others in Adolescence.

Crone, E.A., & Fuligni, A.J. (2020). Annual Review in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010419-050937


Fairness decisions in children and early adolescents with and without hearing loss.


Frequent bullying involvement and brain morphology in children.

Muetzel, R. L., Mulder, R., Lambalais, S., Cortes, A., Jansen, P., Güroğlu, B., Vernooij, M., Hillegers, M., White, T., El Marroun, H., & Tiemeier, H. (2019). Frontiers Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00696 http://hdl.handle.net/1887/79258


Genetic and environmental influences on MRI scan quantity and quality.

Achterberg, M., & Van der Meulen, M. (2019). Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100667