Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Melle van der Molen

Assistant Professor

Dr. M.J.W. van der Molen
+31 71 527 6042

Melle van der Molen conducts research at the intersection between developmental cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology.

More information about Melle van der Molen

Melle van der Molen conducts research at the intersection between developmental cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology. 


The current work of Van der Molen lies at the intersection between developmental cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology. A key denominator of his work is employing a multimethod approach - combining behavioral and neuroimaging assessments, and advanced statistical methods (e.g., network analyses). A goal of his work is to discover reliable transdiagnostic markers that will aid in understanding the etiology of psychological disorders.

Van der Molen found the CoDAP Lab in 2018. Research in his lab focuses on Cognitive Developmental and Affective Psychophysiology with a dominant focus on electrophysiological correlates of social-evaluative cognitive biases and aberrant social learning in anxiety disorders. Advanced electrophysiological (EEG/ECG) analyses are conjunctively used with behavioral and personality assessments to explain individual differences in responses to social evaluative stressors. Another research focus is using network theoretical analyses (e.g., community structure analyses, minimum spanning tree analyses) to parse subgroup profiles that show distinct symptom profiles and brain functioning to understand heterogeneity between clinical disorders. These methods have recently been employed in fragile X syndrome, social anxiety disorder, and dyslexia.


  • Developmental Psychophysiology & Psychopathology (Research Master, Course Coordinator)
  • Research Apprenticeship Psychology (Coordinator)
  • Bachelor Project (Supervisor)
  • (Research) Master Thesis (Supervisor)
  • Research Internship (Supervisor)

Short CV

Melle van der Molen is currently working as an assistant professor in the Developmental and Educational Psychology unit of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University.

He obtained his master’s degree in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Amsterdam in 2007. In 2011 he obtained his PhD from the same University supervised by Prof. K. Richard Ridderinkhof and Dr. Ger J.A. Ramakers. In his Ph.D. project, titled “Profiling Fragile X Syndrome in Males: A Psychophysiological and Neuropsychological Approach”, he focused on the repercussions of genetic abnormalities on brain development and cognitive function in fragile X syndrome. In 2011, Van der Molen moved to Leiden University for a post-doc position on profiling neurocognitive endophenotypes of social anxiety disorder supervised by Prof. Michiel Westenberg. In 2012, he was appointed to assistant professor in Clinical and Neurodevelopmental Psychology.

Supervised PhD candidates

  • Hanjie Liu, MSc. "The dynamic brain network architecture of reinforcement learning in social anxiety". 2022-2026.
  • Elise Kortink, MSc. “Changing minds in social anxiety: A developmental network approach to cognitive biase modification”. Supported by an NWO research talent grant. 2018-2022.
  • Anita Harrewijn, "Shy parent, shy Child? Delineating psychophysiological endophenotypes of social anxiety disorder", 2018.

Awards and Grants

  • Credibility in Neuroscience Team Award (2023). Awarded by the British Neuroscience Association to the #EEGManylabs Project Team.
  • NWO Research Talent grant (€233K). Role: principal investigator.
  • Leiden Family Lab study of Social Anxiety Disorder (2011-2018; Role: Co-PI; institute funding €120K).
  • Travel award to attend the European Science Foundation conference on “Gene Expression to Neurobiology and Behavior: Human Brain Development and Developmental Disorders" (Saint Feliu de Guixols, Spain, September 2009).
  • NWO poster prijs (first place).
  • Socrates-Erasmus scholarship for a six-month stay at Fondazione Santa Lucia (IRCCS) and the Sapienza University, Rome, Italy (2006).


  • University Teaching Qualification (BKO)
  • Basisaantekening Psychodiagnostiek (Netherlands Institute of Psychologists)

Membership scientific associations

  • Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR)
  • FLUX Society for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
  • European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (ESCAN)
  • International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP)

Assistant Professor

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

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 3B44


  • No relevant ancillary activities
This website uses cookies.  More information.