Sandy Overgaauw obtained her Master’s degree in Education and Child studies (specialization Clinical Child and Adolescent Studies) at the Leiden University. During her PhD project she investigated the development of neural correlates of empathy in healthy children and adolescents. The objective was to gain understanding of developmental changes and individual differences in empathic concern as well as the relation with (pro)social behavior.
She is currently focusing on the role of self-focused attention in social performance monitoring in individuals with psychopathy in order to identify the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms.
Moreover, the research she performed during her PhD project provides a starting point to further investigate individual differences in developmental pathways in clinical populations. More specifically, from September 2018 onwards she will start a research project (funded by a KNAW Sara van Dam Project Grant) in collaboration with Dr. Einat Levy-Gigi of the Bar Ilan University and Prof. dr. Ellen de Bruijn (Clinical Psychology). The aim of this project is to unravel the neurocognitive developmental trajectory of social performance monitoring in typically developing adolescents in the Netherlands, and in adolescents growing up in a stressful environment in Israel. Specific attention will be paid to the role of anxiety and empathy.