Universiteit Leiden

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Ellen de Bruijn

Professor of Neurocognitieve Klinische Psychologie

Name
Prof.dr. E.R.A. de Bruijn
Telephone
+31 71 527 3748
E-mail
edebruijn@fsw.leidenuniv.nl
ORCID iD
0000-0002-6591-7325

Ellen de Bruijn is a professor of Neurocognitive Clinical Psychology at the department of Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychology. She studies the cognitive and neural mechanisms of action-control processes that are necessary to interact successfully with the environment and other humans.

More information about Ellen de Bruijn

Ellen de Bruijn is a professor of Neurocognitive Clinical Psychology at the department of Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychology. She studies the cognitive and neural mechanisms of action-control processes that are necessary to interact successfully with the environment and other humans.

Research on neural mechanisms in psychiatric disorders

To perform in a safe, efficient, and socially adequate manner, humans need to continuously monitor own and other’s behavior for errors and possible deviations from the goal and to adapt their behavior accordingly. Research has identified the cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in performance monitoring in non-social contexts, but social performance monitoring has only more recently begun to receive attention. The relevance of this central process of performance monitoring becomes evident when disturbances arise, such as in various psychiatric disorders.

In her research line on social cognitive neuropsychiatry, de Bruijn investigates disturbed social performance-monitoring processes in healthy individuals that, for example, score high on relevant symptoms as well as in patients that suffer from different psychiatric disorders. To provide an integrated view of the different processes, she makes use of various approaches and methods, such as behavioral experiments, EEG, and fMRI techniques, computational modeling, as well as psychopharmacological manipulations (e.g., dopamine, oxytocin, and estradiol).

Besides the investigation of performance-monitoring processes, she also studies other relevant processes that enable social action control, e.g., social decision-making, performing in uncertain social environments, and learning from and about others.

Finally, she examines possible disturbances of these processes in different psychiatric disorders with social dysfunctions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, and psychopathy.

Research project: hormonal fluctuations across the female lifespan

In 2023, De Bruijn received an ERC Consolidator Grant to conduct EEG research on the different stages at which girls and women experience strong hormonal fluctuations. De Bruijn and her colleagues will study a young age group (girls aged between 8 and 15 years) and two older age groups (women aged between 25 and 60 years) over an extended period, using experimental tasks and pharmacological manipulations, to understand the effects of increasing hormones such as estradiol, dopamine, and oxytocin on brain and behavior.

The study aims to contribute to the understanding of factors contributing to health and well-being in women of all ages, and to provide better information about the menstrual cycle and menopause to girls and women.

Short CV

De Bruijn obtained a PhD from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and went on to work as a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, with funding from the Niels Stensen Foundation.

With the help of an NWO VENI grant (2008-2012), she studied social modulations of adaptive behavior in healthy volunteers and psychiatric patients, using various approaches and methods. She received an NWO VIDI grant (2013-2019) to continue and extend her research. Since 2018, she’s a professor at the Institute of Psychology.

Grants

  • ERC Consolidator Grant (2023-2028; PI: “Changing Landscapes: The effects of hormonal fluctuations on neurocognitive functioning across the female liespan”)
  • VIDI  (NWO 2013-2018; PI: “Me, myself, and… you: A social cognitive neuropsychiatry perspective on performance monitoring”)
  • VENI (NWO 2008-2012; PI: “Social modulations of adaptive behaviour: a neurocognitive approach”)
  • IWT (2010-2014, co-PI; “Social action control in schizophrenia”)
  • Grant from Niels Stensen Foundation (PI, 2004)

In the media

Professor of Neurocognitieve Klinische Psychologie

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Psychologie
  • Klinische Psychologie

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2B47

Contact

Publications

  • Geen relevante nevenwerkzaamheden
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