Welcome to the Leiden based

Brain and Development Research Center

Discover our research projects:


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

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

Learning together

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

Social competence and environment

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

Self concept

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

Minor’s hearing rights

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


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

Prosocial behaviour

Prosocial behaviour strongly develops during adolescence.


Raging hormones in the gifted.

Effects of alcohol

Investigating the effect of alcohol consumption on brain development.

Risk taking in ADHD youth

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


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

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).

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Meet our principal investigators:

Lara Wierenga

Principal Investigator

Anna van Duijvenvoorde

Principal Investigator

Kiki Zanolie

Principal Investigator

Jiska Peper

Principal Investigator

Berna Güroğlu

Principal Investigator

Eveline Crone

Principal Investigator

Marieke Bos

Principal Investigator

Sabine Peters

Principal Investigator

Latest publications:

Neural tracking of subjective value under risk and ambiguity in adolescence.

Blankenstein, N. E., & Van Duijvenvoorde, A. C. K. (in press). Cognitive Affective Behavioral Neuroscience.

In press 

Giving to Friends, Classmates, and Strangers in Adolescence.

van de Groep, S., Zanolie, K., & Crone, E.A. (in press). Journal of Research on Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12491 https://hdl.handle.net/10411/M7YIBE

In press 

Developmental Changes and Individual Differences in Trust and Reciprocity in Adolescence.

van de Groep, S., Meuwese, R., Zanolie, K., Güroğlu, B., & Crone, E.A. (in press). Journal of Research on Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12459 https://hdl.handle.net/10411/9LHV2C

In press 

Turning a blind eye? Punishment of friends and unfamiliar peers after observed exclusion in adolescence.

Spaans, J. P., Will, G.-J., van Hoorn, J., & Güroğlu, B. (in press). Journal of Research on Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12401

In press 

Neural reward-related reactions to monetary gains for self and charity.

Spaans, J. P., Peters, S., & Crone, E.A. (in press). Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience.

In press 

Pregnancy and adolescence entail similar neuroanatomical adaptations: A comparative analysis of cerebral morphometric changes.

Carmona, S., Martinez-Garcia, M., Paternina-Die, M., Barba-Muller, E., Wierenga, L.M., Alemán-Gómez, Y., Pretus, C., Marcos-Vidal, L., Beumala, L., Cortizo, R., Pozzobon, C., Picada, M., Lucco, F., García-García, D., Soliva, J.C., Tobeña, A., Peper, J.S., Crone, E.A., Ballesteros, A., Vilarroya, O., Desco, M., & Hoekzema, E. (in press). Human Brain Mapping. http://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.24513 http://hdl.handle.net/1887/73549

In press 

Sex effects on development of brain structure and executive functions: Greater variance than mean effects.

Wierenga, L.M., Bos, M.G.N., Van Rossenberg, F., & Crone, E.A. (2019). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. http:/doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01375


Direct and reflected self-concept show increasing similarity across adolescence: A functional neuroimaging study.

Van der Cruijsen, R., Peters, S., Zoetendaal, K.P.M., Pfeifer, J.H., & Crone, E.A. (2019). Neuropsychologia. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.05.001


10Kin1day: A bottom-up neuroimaging initiative.

Van den Heuvel, M.P…. Crone, E.A., …De Lange, S.C. (2019). Frontiers in Neurology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00425