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Prosocial behaviour strongly develops during adolescence.


In several of our studies, we examine adolescence as a period of social influence. We are interested in understanding under which circumstances adolescents are more prone to give to others. We also aim to understand which adolescents are more sensitive to rejection and acceptance than others, and how this affects their social behavior.

Brainlinks is a large ongoing longitudinal project designed to gain a better understanding of age- and puberty-related change in brain function and structure related to prosocial behavior. Additional goals include testing the moderating role of social context, individual differences, and social experiences.

The study consists of three waves, taking place in three consecutive years (2018, 2019 and 2020) in which adolescents (aged 9-18 years in 2018) will be followed over time. A unique aspect of the Brainlinks study is that 76 parents (mothers and fathers) participated during the first wave, completing a task battery very similar to the adolescents. This gives us a unique chance to examine how parents’ (prosocial) behavior and its neural correlates are related to that of their child. We are now also testing effects of prosocial interventions.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 681632)

This study is preregistered on the OSF.