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Melle J.W. van der Molen, PhD

Principal Investigator

I am an assistant professor in Clinical Neurodevelopmental Psychology at Leiden University and principal investigator at the CoDAP lab. My work lies at the intersection between developmental cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology. A key denominator of my work is employing a multi-method approach - combining behavioral and neuroimaging assessments, as well as advanced statistical methods. I aim at discovering reliable transdiagnostic markers that will aid in understanding the etiology of psychological disorders


Biosketch and CV


Elise Kortink, MSc

Ph.D. candidate

I am a PhD candidate for the Developmental and Educational Psychology at Leiden University and enthusiastic member of the CoDAP lab. My PhD project (i.e., the Changing Minds project), funded by an NWO Research Talent grant, aims to identify subgroups of people, characterized by similarities in personality, environmental, physiological and behavioral responses in various social contexts. These subgroups, or ‘symptom-profiles’ should help indicate who is at risk for developing social anxiety disorder in adolescence. I am particularly interested in examining potential differences in a brain mechanism involved during social learning and behavioral responses to uncertain social situations.


Hanjie Liu, MSc

Ph.D. candidate

I am a Ph.D. candidate for the Developmental and Educational Psychology unit at Leiden University and a member of the CoDAP lab. I received my MSc in developmental psychopathology from Durham University and a BSc in mathematics from Purdue University. My Ph.D. project focuses on investigating the functional brain network changes during reinforcement learning in socially anxious individuals. I am interested in using machine learning methods to examine this learning process and I hope to provide insights into the mechanisms underlying the cognitive biases in social anxiety.


Selin Topel, MSc


I am a research collaborator in the CoDAP lab and a PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology unit at Leiden University. I received my M.Sc. (Research) in Developmental Psychology from Leiden University and hold a B.A. in Psychology from Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. In the CoDAP lab, I work on the Changing Minds project, and I am interested in understanding the mechanisms involved in feedback processing and learning in social evaluative contexts. As part of the interdepartmental Social Resilience and Security Program, my PhD project - co-supervised by Prof. Ellen de Bruijn, Dr. Anna van Duijvenvoorde, and Dr. Henk van Steenbergen - will focus on the relationship between resilience, uncertainty, and cognitive flexibility.


Katie Herbert, BSc

Thesis student

I am a master's student studying Child and Adolescent Psychology at Leiden University. I received my BSc in psychology from University College Dublin. I am completing my master's thesis in the CoDAP lab, as part of the "Changing Minds in Social Anxiety" research project. I am particularly interested in learning more about environmental predictors of social anxiety and negative cognitive biases in adolescents.  My thesis, supervised by Dr Melle van der Molen, will focus on the relationship between parental styles, biases in social evaluative feedback, and social anxiety in adolescents


Marcello Pepe

Honors student

I am a third-year psychology student at Leiden University and an honors research bachelor's student in the CoDAP lab. My research delves into the neurocognitive mechanisms that govern learning in social contexts. Specifically, my project investigates how motivational significance influences the P3 component of event-related potentials – a marker of neuromodulatory processes – during learning from social-evaluative feedback. I am particularly interested in how these dynamics differ among individuals with varying levels of depressive symptoms. By integrating EEG data analysis with computational modeling techniques, my work aims to contribute to a nuanced understanding of adaptive learning rates and the neural pathways that underlie social learning and depression.


Ph.D. candidates

Anita Harrewijn (2013-2017; assistant professor Erasmus University, Rotterdam)

Research master students

Sanyogita Khare (2020-2021); currently a Ph.D. student at Radboud University)

Selin Topel (2018-2020; currently a Ph.D. student at Leiden University)

Fenna Mensonides (2018-2019; behavioral scientist at the Council of Child Protection)

Sophie Sweijen (2017-2018; currently a Ph.D. student at SYNC-lab)

Elise Kortink  (2016-2018; currently a Ph.D. student at CoDAP-lab)

Evelien Urbanus (2015; assistant professor at Free University, Amsterdam

Eefje Poppelaars (2013-2015; Received Ph.D. from U. Salzburg 2020, currently data scientist)

Laura Dekkers (2012; received Ph.D. from UvA, currently a practicing psychologist)

Sanne van Luenen (2012; assistant professor at Leiden University)

*Please contact me if your name is not on this list and you are an alumnus


Professional master students

Caroline Zanders (2023)

Kyra L'Amie (2023)

Iga Skorupska (2023)

Louise van de Breevaart (2023)

Kalina Nikolova (2022)

Clarissa Kölgen (2022)

Noor Nabuurs (2021)

Nadina Nugter (2021)

Laura van Toor (2021)

Robin Lubbe (2021)

Lisa Glorie (2021)

Noor Nabuurs (2021)

Nadine Nugter (2021)

Didier Ching (2021)

Emma Holden (2021)

Suze Bik (2020)

Lili Collot D'Escury (2019)

Andrea Simková (2019)

Slobodanka Peshovska (2019)

Niklas Schutter (2019)

Sander Buuron (2019)

Sinead Craddock (2018)

Amber Feher (2018)

Styliani Kountzaki (2018)

Arja Roeleveld (2018)

Mine Tashan (2018)

Konstantina Mataftsi (2017)

Marina Sitarenios (2017)

Manouk Vernij (2017)

Sabina Weistra (2017)

Raluca Gatej (2016)

Miranda Lutz (2016)

Deborah Noorlander (2016)

Femke Jongejan (2015)

Julia Dijkman (2014)

Charlotte Hiemstra (2014)

Kainah Marx (2014)

Dimitra Nikolakou (2014)

Denise Roest (2014)

Caroline van Hartingsveldt (2013)

Laura Sakka (2013)

Lena Zachou (2013)

Honors research bachelor students

Birte Steinberg (2021-2022)

Louise van de Breevaart (2020-2021)

Klara Wiezcorke (2020-2021)

Christin Kuehner (2019-2020)

Siobhan Hyde (2018-2019)

Lisa Straetmans (2017-2018)

Sophie Sweijen (2016-2017)

Tessel Derckx (2015-2016)

Ninke van den Berge (2014-2015)

Elise Kortink (2013-2014)

Eefje Poppelaars (2012-2013)

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