Young adults

Blije gezichten en andere beloningen: aandacht voor positieve informatie als beschermend mechanisme tegen depressie

This is a Dutch summary of my PhD thesis Happy faces and other rewards. Positieve informatie roept vaak sterke reacties op, maar niet bij iedereen. Wie minder sterk reageert op positieve informatie heeft een zogenaamde lage positieve bias. In dit …

Happy Faces and Other Rewards: Different Perspectives on a Bias Away from Positive and Toward Negative Information as an Underlying Mechanism of Depression

People generally show strong responses to positive or rewarding experiences, for example, winning a prize or seeing someone smile. However, not all people respond the same to positive information; some people show weaker responses to positive …

Alpha-amylase reactivity and recovery patterns in anhedonic young adults performing a tandem skydive

Background Anhedonia (loss of pleasure) is characterized by low responsiveness to rewards and, by virtue of being one of the two core symptoms of depression, by altered responses to stress. We investigated the effect of an acute stress experience …

Intergenerational transmission

My postdoc is part of Dr. Tina Kretschmer’s ERC funded project Ghosts from the Past: Consequences of Adolescent Peer Experiences across Contexts and Generations (CAPE). In this project we investigate whether and how peer experiences are transmitted a) to adult friendships and romantic relationships, and b) across generations, i.

Spread the Joy: How High and Low Bias for Happy Facial Emotions Translate into Different Daily Life Affect Dynamics

There is evidence that people commonly show a bias toward happy facial emotions during laboratory tasks, that is, they identify other people’s happy facial emotions faster than other people’s negative facial emotions. However, not everybody shows …

Measuring BDNF in saliva using commercial ELISA: Results from a small pilot study

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein often studied in psychiatric populations. Commercial ELISA kits have been validated for measuring BDNF in blood plasma and serum, but blood collection is an invasive method which cannot always be …

An Exploratory Randomized Controlled Trial of Personalized Lifestyle Advice and Tandem Skydives as a Means to Reduce Anhedonia

Anhedonia is a major public health concern and has proven particularly difficult to counteract. It has been hypothesized that anhedonia can be deterred by engagement in rewarding social and physical events. The aims of the present study were to …

Lower Sensitivity to Happy and Angry Facial Emotions in Young Adults with Psychiatric Problems

Many psychiatric problem domains have been associated with emotion-specific biases or general deficiencies in facial emotion identification. However, both within and between psychiatric problem domains, large variability exists in the types of …

Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial to explore the effects of personalized lifestyle advices and tandem skydives on pleasure in anhedonic young adults

Anhedonia is generally defined as the inability to feel pleasure in response to experiences that are usually enjoyable. Anhedonia is one of the two core symptoms of depression and is a major public health concern. Anhedonia has proven particularly …

Positive bias and mental health

My main line of research concerns positive bias, i.e., the phenomenon that many people see the world more brightly and more positive than it really is, and whether and at what ages individual differences in positive bias are associated with differences in mental and social functioning.