I have always been fascinated by people’s need and ability to connect to others. As an experimental psychologist, my ambition is to increase our understanding of this basic human phenomenon. To this end, I investigated the buffering and emotion-regulating effects of touch and belonging. More specifically, my research suggests that seemingly benign experiences of social connection may be helpful to vulnerable individuals who struggle with their sense of belonging. In this line of research, I mainly use empirical research methods from the psychological sciences and neurosciences. I started this line of research in 2012, after obtaining my Research Master’s degree in Social & Organisational Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at Leiden University and receiving a grant from the NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). I did this research at the Section Clinical Psychology of the Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology department. At this department, I was part of the Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab led by Professor Sander Koole.
In February 2018, I started fulltime as a Postdoc at the Department of Biological Psychology at the VU, led by Professor Eco de Geus. I am working on a fascinating project that is part of a large research collaboration called NeuroLabNL. Specifically, I am involved in Project line 4, which concerns the application of physiological Wearables. I am conducting a school study to investigate possible biomarkers of self-regulation among 13-to 14 year olds. We will use the VU-AMS device to measure Autonomic Nervous Sysyem Activity, such as ECG, so the heart function, ICG such as breathing rate and skin conductance. We prepare the students morning and measure them for 24 hours, so they wear the device at school, at home and sleep with it for one night. This is a collaborative effort with the Department of Developmental Neuropsychology led by Prof. Lydia Krabbendam.
Related to this school study, I am writing a review on the potential of wearables, to monitor and help improve self-regulation among young adolescents.
You can read more about my research interests on the Research page.