Welcome to the Leiden and Rotterdam based

Brain and Development Research Center

Discover our research projects:


Raging hormones in the gifted.


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

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

Prosocial behaviour

Prosocial behaviour strongly develops during adolescence.

Learning together

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

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?

Social competence and environment

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

Effects of alcohol

Investigating the effect of alcohol consumption on brain development.


Investigating the effect of bullying on brain development.


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


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?


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.

Joining forces between the Leiden based CHANGE lab and the Erasmus based SYNC lab, 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:

Berna Güroğlu

Principal Investigator

Lara Wierenga

Principal Investigator

Eveline Crone

Principal Investigator

Jiska Peper

Principal Investigator

Anna van Duijvenvoorde

Principal Investigator

Marieke Bos

Principal Investigator

Sabine Peters

Principal Investigator

Kiki Zanolie

Principal Investigator

Latest publications:

Genetic and environmental influences on structure of the social brain in childhood.

van der Meulen, M., Wierenga, L. M., Achterberg, M., Drenth, N., Van IJzendoorn, M. H., & Crone, E. A. (in press). Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100782

In press 

Towards greater collaboration in educational neuroscience – Perspectives from the 2018 Earli-SIG22 conference.

van Atteveldt, N., Peters, S., De Smedt, B., & Dumontheil, I. (2020). Mind, Brain and Education. https://doi.org/10.1111/mbe.12250


Neural and behavioral signatures of social evaluation and adaptation in childhood and adolescence: The Leiden Consortium on Individual Development (L-CID).

Crone, E. A., Achterberg, M., Dobbelaar, S., Euser, S., van den Bulk, B., van der Meulen, M., van Drunen, L., Wierenga, L., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2020). Special issue Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100805


Is it worth it? How your brain decides to make an effort.

Kramer, A., Huizenga, H. M., Krabbendam, L., & van Duijvenvoorde, A. C. K. (2020). Frontiers for Young Minds.


Familiarity and audience effects on giving: An fMRI study.

van de Groep, S., Zanolie, K., & Crone, E. A. (2020). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01568


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.


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

Achterberg, M., Van Duijvenvoorde, A.C.K., Van IJzendoorn, M.H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., & Crone, E. A. (2020). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1915124117


Neuropsychological underpinnings of emotional responsiveness to media.

Konijn, E. A., & Achterberg, M. (2020). In The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology.