dr. Henk van Steenbergen
|Henk van Steenbergen is an Associate 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). He obtained his PhD (cum laude / highest distinction) from the same university in 2012.
When not working, Henk enjoys cooking, hiking in nature, reading about history and philosophy, and creating scientific figures.
LinkedIn profile | Google Scholar profile | ResearchGate profile | CV
Liwen Meng, MSc
|Liwen Meng is a PhD candidate in the AMA lab. In 2022, she obtained her second Master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Maastricht University, following her first MSc (cum laude) and BSc degree in Applied Psychology completed in China. After she is assisting in a study on affective stress buffering with Dr. Henk van Steenbergen. In 2023 she obtained a CSC grant to study the stress-buffering effects of nature. In her free time, Liwen enjoys snowboarding, practicing yoga, swimming, and traveling.
Selin Topel, MSc
|Selin is a PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology unit at Leiden University. Her 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 as part of the interdisciplinary Social Resilience and Security Program. Selin graduated from the Research Master’s program in Developmental Psychology in 2020. During her studies, she conducted research at the Cognitive Developmental & Affective Physiology Lab at Leiden University and the Developmental Electrophysiology Lab at Yale Child Study Center where she investigated electrophysiological responses to social evaluative feedback in relation to social anxiety.LinkedIn profile
Jin Yan, MSc
|Jin Yan is a Ph.D. student supervised by Dr. Henk van Steenbergen. She obtained a master’s degree in Basic Psychology from East China Normal University. During her master’s period, she became interested in stress and emotions. She investigated the impact of acute stress on cognitive flexibility and interventions with oxytocin. In her Ph.D. project, she investigates the affective buffering of stress responses at multiple timescales and studies the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. She is also interested in translating these laboratory findings into stress-management techniques.In her free time, Jin likes cooking and workouts, hobbies that have excellent stress-buffering effects which, when combined, also prevent worries about weight gain. Jin is extroverted and easygoing, although she may drive you kind of crazy when you teach her how to play poker games.
Interested in joining our lab? Contact us!
Research Master students
Wout Coolen, BSc
|Wout Coolen completed his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (magna cum laude), with a specialization in Theoretical and Experimental Psychology at Ghent University. His Bachelor’s thesis explored the intriguing trade off between mental and physical effort. Currently, he is in the final stages of pursuing his Master’s degree in Experimental and Theoretical Psychology, also at Ghent University. For his Master’s thesis, he is researching task-switching costs within a virtual reality (VR) environment. Starting in September, he will embark on a six-month internship with Henk van Steenbergen at Leiden University, working on multiple projects involving stress-buffering and VR.
Regular Master students
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dr. Floor van Meer (2019-2023)
|Floor van Meer is a postdoc at the unit of Social, Economic and Organisational Psychology of Leiden University. She obtained her PhD at the Image Sciences Institute of the University Medical Center Utrecht in 2017. Her PhD research focused on the neural correlates of food choice in normal-weight and overweight children and adults, using fMRI. As a postdoc at the ISI she studied reward learning and food choice in obesity. She started at Leiden University in 2019 where she studied the neural mechanisms of hedonic compensation to see if working memory load interferes with reward processing during consumption under mentorship of Lotte van Dillen and Henk van Steenbergen.
LinkedIn profile | Google Scholar profile
dr. Motoyuki Sanada (2021-2022)
|Motoyuki Sanada is a visiting postdoctoral researcher from Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan. He obtained his PhD at the University of Tokyo in 2015. He has studied attention, working memory, and emotional effects on cognition by using psychophysiological measurements (especially EEG). From October 2021 on, he is joining the AMA lab at Leiden University for one year where he investigates the neural processing underlying the emotional effects on cognitive control.
Google Scholar profile
Janna Marie Bas-Hoogendam, MSc (2013-2020)
|Janna Marie Bas-Hoogendam was 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 graduated cum laude (with highest distinction) on Jan 14, 2020.Janna Marie 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, was embedded within the Leiden Family Study on Social Anxiety. The focus of her work was 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
Mikael Kowal, MSc (2012-2016)
|Mikael 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.
Alexandra Felea (2017-2018)
Heike Greb, BSc (2017-2018)
|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.
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)
|Erwin 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 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)
|Christina 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
Frenn Bultinck, MSc (2021-2022)
|Frenn Bultinck completed her Master’s degree in Psychology (Personnel management and Industrial psychology) at Ghent University in 2019. Her thesis was about gaining more insight in situational judgment test performance. Frenn is now in the final phase of obtaining her second master’s degree in another branch of psychology: experimental and theoretical psychology, also at Ghent University. From September on, she will be assisting in the AMA lab at Leiden University as an intern for a period of 6 months, working on a project about stress and conflict adaptation.
Emma von Haeseler, BSc (2021-2022)
|Emma von Haeseler completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (cum laude) at Radboud University Nijmegen. Her thesis focused on chronic stress and emotional memory consolidation.
In September, she will start with the Research Master’s in Clinical and Health Psychology at Leiden University. Currently, she is assisting in a study concerning transgressive behaviour and resilience on Twitter with dr. Henk van Steenbergen. She aims to combine both research and clinical work later on.
Kamil Hiralal, BSc (2021-2022)
|Kamil Hiralal obtained his bachelor degree in psychology at Leiden University in 2019. He is currently in the final phase of his research master (cognitive neuroscience track). For his master thesis, he conducted a study on cognitive placebo effects of sham brain stimulation. At the moment, he is working on a study investigating the effects of online transgressive behavior with dr. Henk van Steenbergen.
Jet Lageman, BSc (2019-2020)
|Jet Lageman is a research master student in Cognitive Neuroscience at Leiden University. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with Honours in 2018. Currently, she works with Henk van Steenbergen as part of a research apprenticeship. She is mainly involved in a project investigating the role of touch in cognitive control. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a PhD position.
Lisa Landman, BSc (2018-2019)
|Lisa Landman is a Cognitive Neuroscience research master student at Leiden University. She obtained her BSc in Psychology in Leiden with a bachelor’s thesis on the relationship between dopamine and cognitive flexibility. Currently she is working as a research intern on various projects supervised by dr. Henk van Steenbergen. She hopes to pursue a PhD position in Cognitive Neuroscience after graduation.
Fleur van Elk, BSc (2018-2019)
|Fleur van Elk started her research master in Cognitive Neuroscience at Leiden University in 2016 after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in Leiden. She did her internship at the Brain and Development Research Center in Leiden, where she worked on a longitudinal project on prosocial behavior during development. Fleur is currently doing her thesis at the AMA lab investigating the role of uncertainty in cognitive control.
Maaike Verburg, BSc (2018-2019)
|Maaike Verburg has obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Leiden University in 2018. She is now a first year Research Master’s student in the Cognitive Neuroscience track. Maaike is doing her apprenticeship at the AMA lab, where she assists with the statistical analysis of data on fatigue and decision making. She is hoping to gain hands-on experience with different aspects of doing research.
Roos Doekemeijer, BSc (2017-2018)
|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 (2017-2018)
|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 (2017-2018)
|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.
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 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
Maximiliane Peters, MSc (2021-2022)
|Maximiliane is an Applied Cognitive Psychology master student at Leiden University. She finished her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Leiden University in 2021 and wrote her Bachelor Thesis about the positive emotion joy and its relation to mental health and perceived Stress. She started her masters in September 2021 and is interested in the connection between positive affect, stress, and the physiological systems behind the two constructs. From November on, Maximiliane will join the AMA lab to write her master thesis under the supervision of Dr. Henk van Steenbergen.
- Eli Muis (2020-2021)
- Kasper Wooning (2020-2021)
Hafsteinn Ragnarsson (2019-2020)
|Hafsteinn is an Applied Cognitive Psychology master student at Leiden University. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Iceland in 2018. A year later he came to the Netherlands seeking a graduate degree. Hafsteinn is currently working on a master’s thesis project under the supervision of Henk van Steenbergen, examining the role of touch in cognitive control. Hafsteinn is pursuing a career in the field of User Experience and Cognitive Ergonomics, helping companies make product decisions informed by the latest understanding in Cognitive Psychology.
- Cherise Joyner (2018-2019)
- Thor van den Berg (2016-2017)
- Maria Tarisa (2015-2016)
- Romy Petitjean (2015-2016)
Honors Bachelor students
Dominique Poelarends (2019-2020)
|Dominique Poelarends is a psychology bachelor student at Leiden University. She is currently working on her Honours Research Bachelor Project about the soothing role of touch in cognitive control, supervised by dr. Henk van Steenbergen. She hopes to pursue a research master after finishing her bachelor.
- Isabel Kalverda (2018-2019)
- Lisette Kuijt (2018-2019)
- Jetske Marcelis (2018-2019)
- Ruben Scholten (2018-2019)
- Rosa Vegter (2018-2019)
- Daisy Berris (2018-2019)
- Janna van Helden (2018-2019)
- Ayse Öz (2018-2019)
- Thijs van Rhee (2018-2019)
- Niek Stevenson (2018-2019)
- Laura van Toor (2018-2019)
- Bas Zuidervaart (2018-2019)
- Ted Adrichem (2016-2017)
- Rieke Heeringa (2016-2017)
- Roos Huijs (2016-2017)
- Laura Slabbers (2016-2017)
- 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)