Universiteit Leiden

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Peter Bos

Associate Professor

Dr. P.A. Bos
+31 71 527 4836

Short CV

Peter Bos has a permanent position as Associate Professor at the Institute of Child and Education Studies, Leiden University. He graduated in 2007 at the University of Utrecht and obtained his PhD in 2012 (cum laude) at the same university.

Currently, Peter is developing a line of research that targets the neuroendocrine mechanisms of caregiving behavior and parental communication. He uses functional MRI, EEG, and EMG, and hormone administration methods to investigate neural sensitivity to hormonal factors in response to stimuli relevant for caregiving behavior.

Peter has published over 40 research and review papers mostly in high-impact journals, and in 2014 he received a VENI grant to develop his own line of research. His work has have received wide attention in the (international) media and he frequently shares his scientific findings with the general audience, including with children. He has recently published a popular science book (‘Verbonden’ in Dutch) on the topic of the biology underlying human relations.

Research summary of research interests, projects and/or programs

My main research interest is the role of hormones and neuropeptides in human caregiving and its neural underpinnings. I am especially fascinated by modulating factors during child development such as the quality of caregiving and parental communication, which can alter social-emotional behavior via endocrine mechanisms such as epigenetic programming. A future aim to which I would like to contribute is the further integration of psychological and neurobiological perspectives on human caregiving behavior and child development. The experimental methods I employ are: single drug administration, functional MRI (fMRI), facial Electromyography (EMG), and electroencephalography (EEG).


  • 2015 Dynamics of Youth seed grant (91k) “Getting together; how (epi)genetics and family history predict sensitive parenting behavior.”
  • 2014 NWO (The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) VENI grant (250k) “Off to a bad start – Investigating the role of oxytocin and estradiol in the cycle of harsh parenting over generations”
  • 2013 Travel grant: ISPNE conference, Leiden (0.5k) - 2012 University of Cape Town: Medical Research Council Competitive Post-Doctoral Fellowship Grant (50k)


  • 2014 Praemium Erasmianum thesis prize (3k)
  • 2012 Editor’s choice award NeuroImage for: Bos P. A., Hermans E. J., Ramsey N. F. & van Honk J. (2012) The neural mechanisms by which testosterone acts on interpersonal trust. NeuroImage, 61: 730-7.


  • prof. Jack van Honk

Supervised PhD candidates

  • Estrella Montoya, Shaped and Balanced by Hormones: cortisol, testosterone and the psychoneuroendocrinology of human socio-emotional behavior, 2015
  • Isabell Meier, Touching upon affiliation: On the roles of the opioid and oxytocin systems in human social-emotional behavior, 2020

  • Franca Parianen-Lesemann, When we need To Care for Power: Disentangling two (endocrine) systems underlying social cognition and behavior, 2019 

Relevant links




Associate Professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Pedagogische Wetenschappen
  • Opvoeding en Ontwikkeling

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 4B33


No relevant ancillary activities

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