We are a Leiden University based research platform of principal investigators, senior, and junior researchers who aim to understand the changing minds and brains of children and adolescents. We focus on healthy development, psychopathology, and the impact of adversity in social contexts. Our close collaboration brings high diversity in expertise and skill sets within CHANGE, strengthening and enriching our research questions, methods, and training opportunities for students. Our research includes methods of neuroimaging to investigate brain structure and function, computational modelling, sociometric analyses, hormone measures, and longitudinal approaches. Together, these diverse approaches form a more complete picture of the changes that take place during development. Transparency and open science are key to us, all our research materials can be accessed online. We frequently organize outreach events, as we value the societal impact of our work.

CHANGE participates in the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), which is an interfaculty research network 

focusing on science valorisation and outreach, stimulating interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and expertise on topics related to brain and cognition based at Leiden University (see www.libc-leiden.nl or  libc-junior.nl for the LIBC junior hotspot).

The creation of CHANGE Leiden

Meet the people behind CHANGE

Berna Güroglu

Berna is full professor of Neuroscience of Social Relations at CHANGE Leiden. She investigates social, emotional, and cognitive development from a neuroscience perspective.

Anna Van Duijvenvoorde

Anna is an associate professor at CHANGE Leiden. She studies how brain development relates to adolescent’s decision-making and learning. 

Marieke Bos

Marieke is an assistant professor at CHANGE Leiden. She studies neurobiological mechanisms of the etiology of psychopathology in order to understand why mental health problems often emerge during adolescence. 

Kiki Zanolie

Kiki is an assistant professor at CHANGE Leiden. She studies neurocognitive development and the role of social relations and social status on prosocial decision making, executive functions, and risk-taking in gifted and typically developing children and adolescents. 

Lara Wierenga

Lara is an assistant professor at CHANGE Leiden and principal investigator on the Leiden Consortium of Individual Development. She is devoted to better understand genetic and environmental sex effects on brain development. Herewith she aims to better understand why some individuals are more susceptible to develop mental illness than others.

Jorien van Hoorn

Jorien is an assistant professor at CHANGE Leiden and a psychologist at De Bascule, academic center for child & adolescent psychiatry. She studies social and neurobiological development in adolescents with and without psychiatric disorders (e.g., ADHD and ASS). 

Ili Ma

Ili is an assistant professor at CHANGE Leiden (Leiden University). She is interested in the computational and neurocognitive processes that underlie learning and decision-making during adolescence. 

Lisa Schreuders

Lisa is an assistant professor at CHANGE Leiden. She studies how peer
relationships contribute to adolescents’ social and emotional well-being 
from a biopsychosocial perspective

Annelinde VandenBroucke

Annelinde is a senior project manager at CHANGE Leiden and program coordinator for the research performed within “NeuroLabNL Startimpuls”: a funding scheme from the Dutch Research Agenda (Nationale Wetenschapsagenda). 

Neeltje Blankenstein

Neeltje is a postdoctoral researcher at CHANGE Leiden. She examines the development of risk taking across several domains in typically-developing adolescents and adolescents with ADHD. 


Neeltje van den Bedem

Neeltje is a postdoctoral researcher at CHANGE Leiden. She coordinates valorisation projects on social acceptance and bullying as part of the NeuroLabNL Startimpuls of the Dutch Research Agenda.

Bianca Westhoff

Bianca is a PhD student at CHANGE Leiden. She examines learning in a social context in typically developing adolescents.

Sanne Kellij

Sanne is a PhD student at CHANGE Leiden. She examines social-cognitive processes and underlying neurobiology of children, with a specific focus on persistently peer victimized children.

Nathalie van Kordelaar

Nathalie is a PhD student at CHANGE Leiden. She studies the role of puberty and individual differences on social and emotional development in gifted and typically developing children and adolescents.

Iris Koele

Iris is a PhD student at CHANGE Leiden. She studies the neural mechanisms of feedback processing in the context of peers in typically developing adolescents and adolescents with ADHD.

Selin Topel

Selin is a PhD candidate at the clinical psychology department at Leiden University and affiliated to CHANGE Leiden. She studies the relationship between resilience, uncertainty, and cognitive flexibility as part of the interdisciplinary Social Resilience and Security Program.

lineke Ouwerkerk

Lineke is a research assistant in CHANGE Leiden. She works on the Social Cognitions and Attention for Victims (SCARS) project in which she will assist in all the preparations preceding data collection.

Maaike Verburg

Maaike is a research assistant in CHANGE Leiden. She focuses on the general open science practices in the lab. She develops informative guides and protocols to help the researchers implement open science practices in their workflow. 

Christel Klootwijk

Christel is a student assistant at CHANGE Leiden. She is a second-year student in the research master Developmental Psychology at Leiden University. She is interested in learning and cognitive development, on both a behavioral and a neural level.

Maaike Verburg & Christel Klootwijk

The CHANGE towards open science - On the necessity of research support towards open science (English)

Marieke Bos

Corona dipje?  - NOS op 3 (Dutch Media) interviewed Marieke Bos for background information to create this VLOG about mental wellbeing during the corona pandemic (Dutch)

Marieke Bos

Chaos in het brein - On depression and aggresion during adolescence (Dutch)

Anna van Duijvenvoorde

In or out? - On peer pressure and social exclusion during adolescence (Dutch)

Kiki Zanolie is selected to tweet for @NL_Wetenschap,  a twitter account in which every week a different Dutch scientist tells about their science and lives as a scientist. Keep an eye out in the summer of 2022.

Berna Güroğlu explains in 'Klokhuis' what happens in the brain when you see your friends. Klokhuis is an educational television program for youth on Dutch television. Click here to see the episode (in Dutch).

Science communication: appreciated and acknowledged!  

Annelinde Vandenbroucke, Neeltje van den Bedem, Berna Güroğlu, Iris Koele, and Kiki Zanolie, received an award by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences to continue their work in science communication. Together with Dietsje Jolles and Linda van Leijenhorst (Brain and Education Lab), they will develop new science communication products together with adolescents. 

Annelinde Vandenbroucke, Marieke Bos, Anna van Duijvenvoorde, and Berna Güroğlu, together with the project leaders of NeurolabNL Startimpuls 

received a science communication grant for NeurolabNL Young. In this project young people will design social media communication products to to inform peers about scientific findings on adolescence. 

Youth, brain science and law: new directions for research and practice. Anna van Duijvenvoorde organizes a webinar on February 18th discussing societal relevant issues regarding youth and law. For more information, or to register click here.

Berna Güroglu published in Nature Communications together with Elisabeth Schreuders, Barbara Braams and Eveline Crone. They found that friendship stability is associated with ventral striatum response in vicarious rewards.

Susanne Asscheman, Kiki Zanolie, and Marieke Bos investigated well-being of adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Mood variability among early adolescents in times of social constraints: A daily diary study during the COVID-19 pandemic" is now available as pre-print

The e-book of Frontiers for Young Minds special issue is out! CHANGE members Anna van Duijvenvoorde, Bianca Westhoff, and Iris Koele contributed to this outreach initiative as authors of two articles, while Sabine Peters was one of the editors. We are proud of this amazing issue!

Boys have a less favorable academic career and girls a less favorable job career, but his is not due to differences in the brain or skills as reported by the Dutch Educational Council for which Lara Wierenga and Eveline Crone (SYNC Lab) performed literature research. Click here for the report (Dutch).

We are very proud of CHANGE Leiden member Anna van Duijvenvoorde for winning the prestigious Heineken Young Scientist Award for her research on the development of the brain and behaviour in adolescents. Congratulations Anna! 

CHANGE members Bianca Westhoff and Iris Koele, together with Ilse van de Groep (SYNC lab) reached a young audience explaining their research in Frontiers for Young Minds, an outreach initiative involving reviews by children and adolescents

You can find us on Tiwitter: @Leiden_CHANGE
Also, many of our CHANGE Leiden members are on Twitter; see our personal pages for our Twitter accounts