Universiteit Leiden

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Antoinette van Laarhoven

Assistant Professor

Dr. A.I.M. van Laarhoven
+31 71 527 6634

Short CV

Antoinette van Laarhoven obtained her master degree in Biomedical Sciences (2006) and her PhD (Itch and pain: common and distinct psychophysiological processes, 2012) at the Radboud University, Nijmegen. After her PhD, she worked some years as post-doctoral researcher. Since 2014, she has worked as assistant professor at the Health, Medical, and Neuropsychology unit at Leiden University.


Antoinette van Laarhoven's research focuses on the psychoneurophysiology of itch and pain, with a special interest in unravelling the mechanisms of chronic itch and pain conditions, due to inflammatory (e.g., atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis) and non-inflammatory (e.g., post-burn itch, fibromyalgia) conditions. She specifically focuses on the role of psychological processes, including attentional processing and expectations, in the experience of these somatosensory sensations. She makes use of induced itch and pain by use of quantitative sensory testing (QST), neurophysiological electroencephalography (EEG) measures, and behavioural tasks (e.g., the dot-probe task). Eventually this psychoneurophysiological knowledge can contribute to prevention, early diagnosis of patients at risk to develop chronic itch or pain (e.g., based on biomarkers), and more effective treatment of chronic diseases.


  • Coordinator and lecturer of the elective Pharmacological and biological approaches to clinical and health psychology 
  • Thesis supervisor for (research) master theses 
  • Supervisor Bachelor project Psychology 
  • Workgroup teacher for Health and Medical Psychology


  • Leiden University Fund (LUF) - Den Dulk-Moermans subsidy for Unconscious attentional processing of itch: towards an innovative training.
  • NWO Veni grant (2015) for Itch: even harder to ignore than pain? A psychophysiological approach to attentional processing of somatosensory sensations. 
  • International Forum for the Study of itch (IFSI) Travel grant for the 8th World Congress on Itch, 2015, Nara, Japan. 
  • International Forum for the Study of itch (IFSI) Travel grant for the 7th World Congress on Itch, 2013, Boston, USA.
  • Grant from the Dutch Burn Wounds Foundation for the project (first project leader): Psycho-neurobiology of itch symptoms in patients following burn injuries


  • ​Association for Researchers in Psychology & Health (ARPH) - PhD Thesis Award for the best PhD thesis on psychology and health in 2012.
  • Dutch Society for Psychodermatology (NVPD) – Article prize for the best publication in the field of Psychodermatology in the years 2010 and 2011.

Supervised PhD candidates

  • L. Weng, Transferability of the placebo and nocebo effect between itch and pain
  • D.J.P. Bartels, Induction of expectancy mechanisms underlying placebo and nocebo effects applied to physical sensations
  • K.J. Peerdeman, Harnessing placebo effects by targeting expectancies

Relevant links

LinkedIn profile
Research Gate profile  

Assistant Professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Psychologie
  • Gezondheids, Medische- Neuropsychologie

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2A09



  • Nederlandse Vereniging voor Psychodermatologie Secretaris
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