Universiteit Leiden

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Antoinette van Laarhoven

Associate 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 Radboudumc, 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.


Dr. van Laarhoven investigates the role of psychophysiological processes in itch and pain, for instance due to inflammatory (e.g., atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis) and non-inflammatory (e.g., post-burn itch, fibromyalgia) conditions. Her research line primarily focuses on how attentional processes and expectancies can aggravate and relief itch and pain. Various psychophysiological measures are applied within her experimental research, for instance itch and pain inductions by quantitative sensory testing (QST), electroencephalography (EEG), behavioral tasks (e.g., the dot-probe task, Flanker task), and eye tracking. Recently, she implemented the use of virtual reality in her research. The psychophysiological knowledge obtained could 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. The final aim is to improve patients' well-being.

Research projects

  • Attentional processing of itch and pain 
  • The Role of Expectancies and Avoidance Learning in the Maintenance of Somatic Symptoms 
  • The power of expectations: Unraveling the role of placebo and nocebo effects in somatic symptoms


Bachelor Psychology

  • Coordinator and lecturer of the elective Pharmacological and biological approaches to clinical and health psychology 
  • Supervisor Bachelor projects Psychology 
  • Tutor workgroups Health & Medical Psychology

(Research) Master Psychology

  • Coordinator and tutor workgroups RM-course Research Topics in Health Promotion
  • Supervisor master theses and research internships master tracks Health and Medical Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology


2019: NWO Gravitation Grant (headed by Prof Jansen; Antoinette van Laarhoven is part of the project as young talent)
2018: Research project grant from Leiden University (role: project leader and Co-PI)
2017: Leiden University Fund (LUF) - Den Dulk-Moermans Fund (PI)
2015: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research Veni grant (PI)
2014: Grant from the Dutch Burn (project leader and Co-PI)


2019: John de Korte Travel Grant to present at 18th Congress of the European Society for Dermatology and Psychiatry (ESDaP) Giessen, Germany
2013/2015: International Forum for the Study of itch (IFSI) Travel grants to present at the World Congresses on Itch.
2013: Association for Researchers in Psychology & Health (ARPH) - PhD Thesis Award for the best PhD thesis on psychology and health in 2012.
2011: Dutch Society for Psychodermatology (NVPD) – Article prize for the best publication in the field of Psychodermatology over 2010 and 2011.

Supervised PhD candidates

 Current projects

  • Gita Nadinda, Expect to Avoid: The role of expectancy and avoidance in the chronification of somatic symptoms
  • Jennifer Becker, Attentional Processing of Itch: A psychophysical approach
  • LingLing Weng, Transferability of the placebo and nocebo effect between itch and pain

Finished Projects

  • Danielle Bartels, Induction of expectancy mechanisms underlying placebo and nocebo effects applied to physical sensations, 2020
  • ​Kaya Peerdeman, Harnessing placebo effects by targeting expectancies, 2018

Relevant links

Personal website
LinkedIn profile
Research Gate profile 
Google Scholar

Memberships societies, research schools, and institutes

Associate 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 Vice-voorzitter
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