Universiteit Leiden

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Rüya Akdag

PhD candidate

Name
Drs. R. Akdag
Telephone
+31 71 527 2727
E-mail
r.akdag@fsw.leidenuniv.nl
ORCID iD
0000-0002-2653-5172

Rüya Akdağ is a PhD candidate within the CoPAN Lab of the Cognitive Psychology unit. Her project Mind the Body investigates whether cognitive and affective disturbances influence social anxiety and whether regulating both disturbances via accessible digital interventions can help adolescents learn to cope with their social anxiety.

More information about Rüya Akdag

Rüya Akdağ is a PhD candidate within the CoPAN Lab of the Cognitive Psychology unit. Her project Mind the Body investigates whether cognitive and affective disturbances influence social anxiety and whether regulating both disturbances via accessible digital interventions can help adolescents learn to cope with their social anxiety.

Research on social anxiety

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a severe mental health problem with high resistance to current treatments. In socially stressful situations, people with social anxiety are emotionally hyper aroused (reduced heart rate variability) and cannot correctly evaluate their social performance (metacognitive disturbance). Akdağ and her colleagues will examine how manipulating these metacognitive and heart rate variability disturbances influence social anxiety.

Correspondingly, they will examine how targeting these disturbances with specific app interventions can help reduce social anxiety symptoms in adolescence. Recent research shows correlations between metacognition and heart-rate variability on the one hand and social anxiety symptoms on the other. But there is a clear lack of understanding the causal role of these factors in the development of social anxiety about how they independently and/or jointly influence social anxiety.

In the research, they will combine cognitive, behavioral, and physiological measures to test this new dual theoretical framework and take the first steps in implementing digital interventions to help socially anxious youth. The knowledge gained from this project will help increase the understanding of the development of social anxiety and design appropriate interventions to help socially anxious adolescents cope with their symptoms with an easily accessible and minimally demanding option.

Short CV

Akdağ received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2017 from Radboud University Nijmegen. During her bachelor’s, she developed a great interest in social neuroscience, especially how digital advancements can aid with psychopathology. She further translated this interest by starting a research master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience at Leiden University. 

Akdağ conducted her research internship and thesis at the CoPAN lab under Dr. Mariska Kret. During her thesis, she investigated whether metacognitive beliefs (thoughts about one’s own thoughts) or emotion recognition skills sustain social anxiety symptoms. She obtained her master’s degree in 2020 (Cum Laude). She's re-joined the CoPAN lab to start her PhD project under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Mariska Kret and Dr. Milica Nikolic. The project is funded by the NWO Mosaic 2.0 Grant, which they obtained in 2022.

PhD candidate

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Psychologie
  • Cognitieve Psychologie

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2B22

Contact

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