Principal Investigator

dr. Henk van Steenbergen

Henk van Steenbergen

Henk van Steenbergen is an Assistant Professor at the Cognitive Psychology Unit at Leiden University and founder of the Affect, Motivation, and Action (AMA) lab. Henk studied at Leiden University, where he obtained a BA degree in Philosophy of Psychology, and a BSc and MPhil degree in Cognitive Neuroscience (cum laude) in 2007. He obtained his PhD (cum laude / highest distinction) from the same university in 2012, on a thesis entitled “The drive to control: How affect and motivation regulate cognitive control”.

LinkedIn profile | Google Scholar profile | ResearchGate profile | CV

PhD candidates

Janna Marie Bas-Hoogendam, MSc

Janna Marie Bas-Hoogendam is a PhD student in the unit Developmental and Educational Psychology of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University and the department of Psychiatry at the Leiden University Medical Center. She studied Medicine at the Erasmus Medical Center (2003-2007) and obtained her research master’s degree in Neuroscience and Cognition at Utrecht University in 2009 (cum laude/ with the highest distinction). During her research master, she worked as an intern at the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience (UMC Utrecht) and the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology (VU University Medical Center Amsterdam). During both internships, she used functional neuroimaging to investigate the human brain. In addition, she wrote a master thesis on the effects of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). Following her masters,  Janna Marie worked as a research assistant at the Department of Psychiatry of the UMC Utrecht, investigating the development of the adolescent brain with a focus on reward processing. After working in the Cognitive Neuroimaging Lab in Birmingham,  Janna Marie started her current PhD project in March 2013. This project, supervised by Michiel Westenberg, Nic van der Wee, and Henk van Steenbergen, is embedded within the Leiden Family Study on Social Anxiety. The focus of her work is on profiling endophenotypes of social anxiety disorder using structural and functional MRI. In addition, she investigated the processing of emotional faces in patients with Cushing’s disease and is involved in the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA).

LinkedIn profile | Google Scholar profile | ResearchGate profile

Research Assistants

Heike Greb, BSc

Heike Greb is a research assistant at the Cognitive Psychology department at Leiden University. Meanwhile she studies in the International Bachelor of Psychology program. Before she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering Science and worked for the port of Hamburg (Germany) as civil engineer. She is currently working in the AMA lab on a project about the effects of mood states on effortful tasks. Photo by Linnea Ott.

Research Master students

Roos Doekemeijer, BSc

Roos Doekemeijer is a Leiden University Master’s student in the research track Cognitive Neuroscience. She has obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2016 and has since performed fMRI data analyses as an apprentice of drs. Aleksandrina Skvortsova. Currently, Roos is performing analyses on the interaction between mood and cognitive control under supervision of Dr. Henk van Steenbergen. She is set to pursue a career in computational neuroscience.

Lena Ibold, BSc

Lena Ibold is a Leiden University research master student specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Social and Cognitive Psychology at Jacobs University Bremen (Germany) in 2016 with a thesis examining the influence of emotions on economic decision-making. Currently, Lena is doing her research internship at the AMA lab in preparation of her Master’s thesis investigating the relationship between posture and attention. She hopes to pursue a PhD in (clinical) affective neuroscience after her Master’s.

Dianne Venneker, BSc

Dianne Venneker obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2016. She continued her studies at Leiden University, where she is now a second-year research master student in Cognitive Neuroscience. For her internship and thesis Dianne is currently working in the AMA lab on a project about the effect of mental fatigue on economic decision making. Other areas that she is interested in include implicit learning, language acquisition, and educational neuroscience.

Regular master students

  • Thor van den Berg

Bachelor students

  • Ted Adrichem (2016-2017)
  • Rieke Heeringa (2016-2017)
  • Roos Huijs (2016-2017)
  • Laura Slabbers (2016-2017)


PhD candidates

Mikael Kowal, MSc (2012-2016)

Mikael_Kowal-150x150Mikael Kowal studied experimental psychology at Warsaw University. His PhD project focused on the acute effects of cannabis on cognitive control and creativity. This project was supervised by prof. Bernhard Hommel, dr. Lorenza Colzato, and dr. Henk van Steenbergen.

ResearchGate profile

Research Assistants

Hans Revers, MSc (2015-2016)

Hans Revers studied Psychology at Leiden University where he obtained his BSc degree (cum laude) and his MSc (Research) degree in Cognitive Neuroscience (cum laude). During his research master he worked as an intern in the Temporal Attention Lab (Leiden University), led by Prof. Sander Nieuwenhuis. He assisted in fMRI and EEG studies and ran an arousal-and-perception experiment together with Peter Murphy (PhD.). He wrote his master thesis on the physiological effects of unconscious stress, supervised by Dr. Jos Brosschot (Leiden University). Prior to his Psychology study, Hans studied Mathematics at Fontys Hogescholen Tilburg where he obtained his Ing degree, and has worked ten years in ICT as interactive website developer, game software engineer, and owner of a web-development company. Currently, Hans works in the AMA lab on analysing behavioural, EEG, and pupil dilation data from two studies that investigate the link between effort, perceived task difficulty and cognitive control.

Erwin Haasnoot, MSc (2014-2015)

ErwinHaasnootErwin holds an MSc in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience from the University of Sheffield in the UK, and a BSc in Computer Science and Engineering from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He has developed the QRTEngine when he worked as an intern and research assistant in the AMA lab. Currently he is exploring his options, and open to suggestions, for his next adventures.

Jonathan Barnhoorn, MSc (2014-2015)

Jonathan_Barnhoorn-150x160Jonathan Barnhoorn is the main author of the QRTEngine paper and has been involved as the resident CSS expert in the AMA lab. Jonathan currently is a PhD student at the University of Twente on the topic of motor learning in elderly. He holds a MSc (research) in cognitive neuroscience, a BSc in psychology and a BSc in communication & multimedia design.

Christina Pfeuffer, MSc (2014)

Foto_PfeufferChristina Pfeuffer was an intern in our lab. She was involved in multiple projects, including an fMRI study and an ERP study on action-effect learning and reward processing. Christina currently is a PhD student at the University of Freiburg.

Research master students

Iris Spruit, BSc (2016-2017)

Iris Spruit is a research master student in Cognitive Neuroscience at Leiden University. She obtained her BSc in psychology (thesis: neuro-cognitive basis of variability in the Stroop effect) and BA in Japanese Studies in Leiden. Currently she is working in the AMA lab for her research internship supervised by dr. Henk van Steenbergen. Iris hopes to pursue a PhD position in cognitive neuroscience after graduation.

Iliana Samara, MSc (2016-2017)

Iliana_SamaraIliana Samara holds a BSc in psychology from the University of Crete and an MSc in Applied Cognitive Psychology from the University of Leiden.  She wrote her Master’s thesis on the effects of differential meditative practices on the Attentional Blink paradigm.  Currently, she is a student at the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Master’s at Leiden University and working on a project focused on the influence of affect on cognitive control.

Pauline van der Wel, BSc (2016-2017)

Pauline van der Wel is a research master student in Cognitive Neuroscience at Leiden University. She obtained her BSc in Psychology in Leiden and wrote her thesis on the effects of a single session of meditation on attentional flexibility. She was working in the AMA lab for her research internship on several projects supervised by dr. Henk van Steenbergen. Pauline is hoping to pursue a PhD position in Cognitive Neuroscience after graduation.

Anja Berger, BSc (2016)

Anja Berger obtained her BSc in Psychology (thesis: Positive affect and proactive control in the AX-Continuous Performance Task) at the University of Regensburg in Germany in 2015 and she is currently doing her MSc in Psychology there. She has been working at the lab of Prof. Dr. Gesine Dreisbach since 2013. Currently she is working as an intern in the AMA lab on a project that investigates the affective properties of cognitive control.

Mithras Kuipers, BSc (2015-2016)

Mithras Kuipers obtained his BSc in psychology at Leiden University and wrote his bachelor’s thesis on the modulatory role of striatal dopamine in the link between video-game experience and creativity. Currently, he is a research master student in Cognitive Neuroscience at Leiden University and working for his research internship in the AMA lab on an fMRI collaboration project supervised by dr. Henk van Steenbergen and dr. Lotte van Dillen. After graduation Mithras will be pursuing a PhD position in Cognitive Neuroscience.

Inga Rösler (2015-2016)

Inga Rösler is currently following the Social & Organizational track in Psychology (research master). She is writing her master thesis on the neural correlates of hedonic compensation. This is a collaboration project jointly supervised by dr. Henk van Steenbergen and dr. Lotte van Dillen in which taste stimuli are presented to participants while their brain activity is scanned. Inga is hoping to pursue a PhD program in social neuroscience after finishing her master’s program.

 Naomi Vlegels, BSc (2014-2016)

Naomi obtained her BSc in psychology as well as her Honours certificate at Leiden University. Her Bachelor’s thesis (carried out within the AMA lab) focused on the effects of outcome devaluation on goal-directed behavior within the Pavlovian-to-Instrumental transfer paradigm. Currently, she is a student at the Neuroscience and Cognition Research Master at Utrecht University.

Regular master students

  • Maria Tarisa (2015-2016)
  • Romy Petitjean (2015-2016)

Bachelor students

  • Nurseda Risvanoglu (2016-2017)
  • Isabelle Blok (2016-2017)
  • Zala Reppman (2016-2017)
  • Bas Rexwinkel (2016-2017)
  • Anke Halfweeg (2015-2016)
  • Esther Bliek (2015-2016)
  • Sanne de Jager (2015-2016)
  • Feride Ozturk (2015-2016)
  • Maxim Allaart (2015-2016)
  • Jasmijn Hondebrink (2015-2016)
  • Anne de Groot (2015-2016)
  • Tyrza van Leeuwen (2015-2016)
  • Evelien Lageweg (2015-2016)