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Melle J.W. van der Molen, Ph.D.

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Principal Investigator


Wassenaarseweg 52 (room 3B44)

2333 AK Leiden

The Netherlands


+31 (0)71 527 6042

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Biosketch: My work lies at the intersection between developmental cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology. The global aim of my work is to identify neurocognitive risk factors of internalizing disorders, with a specific emphasis on social anxiety disorder. A dominant focus of my research is to examine how anxiety impacts on the neural responses to emotional stimuli during both anticipatory and feedback-related information processing stages. Further, I examine whether specific patterns in psychophysiological responses to stress at an early age might be predictive of developing anxiety disorders later in life. An important objective in my work is to discover reliable transdiagnostic markers that will aid in understanding the etiology of psychopathology, as well as biobehavioral risk factors that can be used in preventive intervention. To this end, my work includes intermediate phenotype approaches to social anxiety disorder to unravel heritability of these biobehavioral risk factors.


Another key denominator of my work is to use advanced statistical approaches to characterize brain networks and examine their functional roles in a variety of psychological processes – varying from emotion regulation in social anxiety to reading (dys)function in dyslexia, as well as brain network organization in neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., Fragile X Syndrome).


Since my assistant professorship at Leiden University, I have specialized in electrophysiological methods in health and disease, with a specific focus on adolescent psychopathology. I teach the course Developmental Psychophysiology & Psychopathology (Research Master), as well as Psychodiagnostics course (Bachelor of Psychology). I supervise thesis students (Bachelor and Master Thesis) and I am a member of the Bachelor Educational Committee (Institute of Psychology).

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