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Anna van Duijvenvoorde

Associate professor

Dr. A.C.K. van Duijvenvoorde
+31 71 527 3853

Anna van Duijvenvoorde examines how brain development relates to changes in decision making, risk-taking and social learning during adolescence. She is an associate professor in the unit Developmental and Educational Psychology of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University. She is also a co-founder of the research platform CHANGE Leiden.

More information about Anna van Duijvenvoorde

Blog posts

Anna van Duijvenvoorde is an associate professor in the unit Developmental and Educational Psychology of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University. Her research examines how brain development relates to changes in decision making, risk-taking and social learning during adolescence. She's also a co-founder of the research platform CHANGE Leiden. 

Research on brain development

Van Duijvenvoorde's research investigates the link between brain development and changes in decision making and learning that occur during adolescence in a social context. She is particularly interested in understanding how these processes relate to risk taking behaviour and opportunities for learning. Her work has important implications for developing strategies to support adolescents as they navigate potentially risky situations and for designing learning environments that promote effective social learning.

By studying the mechanisms underlying brain development and decision making in adolescents, Van Duijvenvoorde's research has the potential to inform interventions that can support the healthy development of young people during this critical period of life.

Ongoing research projects 

Learning Together

The Learning Together’ project examines how adolescents learn from and about others. During the teenage years, we are increasingly able to empathise with other people. Peers also become increasingly important. How do you learn who you can trust? Who works with you? Can you also learn by observing others? And is the teenage brain even suited to 'learn together'? During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ‘Learning Together’ project expanded to investigate how school closure affects academic motivation and well-being of teenagers and young adults. The Learning Togther-studies are supported by NWO, the Gratama Foundation, and Euniwell.


The 'Brainbuzz' study focuses on peer influence in young people. This study, supported by the Royal Academy for Arts and Sciences, examines how young people assess risk and how peers influence their risk assessment. A key question in this project is whether adolescents with ADHD are particularly sensitive to peer influence and whether peers can positively influence young people's behaviour.

Bend or Break

The ‘Bend or Break’ study targets how people perceive uncertainty in their everyday lives and adapt their behaviour accordingly. Experienced uncertainty may boost people's learning. Uncertainty may, however, also be distressing, particularly for individuals with high affective symptomology (i.e., anxiety). As part of the Social Resilience and Safety program, this study examines how young people learn in uncertain and changing environments of social and non-social nature with a link to potential affective problems.

Growing Up Together in Society

In the GUTS consortium, Van Duijvenvoorde and her colleagues study how young people grow up in increasingly complex societies and make contributions to society. They examine self-regulation as a key factor of the relation between inequalities in social and societal opportunities, neurobiological development, and contributions to society. This consortium is supported by a NWO Gravitation grant and will start in 2023.

Outreach and education

Van Duijvenvoorde values translating scientific findings of brain development to the general public, for instance by giving lectures to teachers, and at high schools to reach young people directly. She collaborates with researchers and societal partners as a member of the of the NeuroLabNL Route of the Dutch National Science Agenda in which she focuses on researching optimal conditions for learning and adolescent motivation.

She also participates in the interdisciplinary program ‘Social Resilience and Safety’ of Leiden University. Van Duijvenvoorde is committed to transfer skills, knowledge, and a passion for scientific research to young scientists. Therefore, she actively participates in the Research Master Psychology, among others in her role as coordinator.

Finally, she's a member of the Young Academy Leiden. This platform stimulates and promotes the interests of young researchers regarding research and education policy, interdisciplinarity, and outreach. In 2020 she received the Heineken Young Scientist Award in the Social Sciences.


  • Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (Research Master specialization course)
  • Research Apprenticeship coordinator (Research Master elective)
  • Research Master Psychology, scientific coördinator

Short CV

Anna van Duijvenvoorde obtained her PhD cum laude at the University of Amsterdam in 2013, after visiting Columbia University and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology in New York.

Her PhD work focused on learning from positive and negative feedback signals and risk and decision making in adolescence. She did her post-doctoral fellowship at Leiden University. She was promoted to assistant professor in 2014, and to associate professor in 2019.


  • 2022 EUniWell seed grant
  • 2022 NWA science communication grant : ADHD Plaza (co-applicant)
  • 2022 Gravitation grant: Growing Up Together in Society (co-applicant)
  • 2021 NWA science communication grant : NeurlabNL Young (co-applicant)
  • 2020 Heineken Young Scientist Award
  • 2020 YAL Interdisciplinary Activity Grant
  • 2019 LUF-Gratama Foundation grant
  • 2018 Sara van Dam KNAW grant
  • 2018 NWA Neurolab NL – optimal conditions of learning (co-applicant) 
  • 2016 Leiden Aspasia grant
  • 2016 Open Research Area grant
  • 2011 Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds – PhD stipend
  • 2011 Ter Meulen Fonds – PhD stipend
  • 2009 Amsterdam Brain Imaging Platform

Supervised PhD candidates

  • Selin Topel
  • Scarlett Slagter
  • Anne-Wil Kramer
  • Simone Dobbelaar, Variations in the social environment and the neurocognitive development of social competence
  • Iris Koele, Developmental trajectories of peer influence on social decision-making
  • Bianca Westhoff, Social learning in typical developing adolescents, 2022
  • Michelle Achterberg, Neurocognitive factors and heritability in children's impulse control, 2020 (cum laude)
  • Neeltje Blankenstein, Risky business, the role of uncertainty in adolescent's risk taking, 2019
  • Dr. Sabine Peters, Braintime, 2016 (cum laude)

Relevant links

LinkedIn profile
Research Gate profile

Associate professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Psychologie
  • Ontwikkelings- & Onderwijspsychologie

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 3B34



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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