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Brain, cognition and mental well-being

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Merel Kindt (photo: Jeroen Oerlemans)
Photo: Jeroen Oerlemans

Prof. Merel Kindt's research focuses on neurobiological and psychological processes of fear and anxiety, with an emphasis on the mechanisms of change in the treatment of anxiety and related disorders. She is professor of Experimental Clinical Psychology and founder and partner of Kindt Clinics, an outpatient clinic dealing with phobias and anxiety disorders. | | 020 525 6044

Hilde Geurts (photo: Dirk Gillissen)
Photo: Dirk Gillissen
Autism and ADHD

Prof. Hilde Geurts is professor of Clinical Neuropsychology and senior researcher at Dr Leo Kannerhuis (Youz/Parnassia Group). She is an expert in the fields of autism and ADHD and focuses on the entire life course. Her current research mainly focuses on the ageing of people with autism, with an emphasis is on changes in cognition, additional mental problems and quality of life. | | 020 525 6843


Dr Disa Sauter is an emotion researcher. In her work, the focus is on the non-verbal communication of emotions through, for example, laughing, crying, sighing and facial expressions. In particular, she is interested in positive emotions and the distinction between different positive affective states. Sauter is an associate professor in the Department of Social Psychology and heads the Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center for Emotion. |

Sanne de Wit (photo: Dirk Gillissen)
Photo: Dirk Gillissen)

Dr Sanne de Wit conducts research into behavioural patterns and habits, with a focus on goal-oriented versus automatic behaviour. Good intentions fail because it takes effort to unlearn old patterns of behaviour and gradually automate new patterns. De Wit examines whether the brain can skip this laborious process by strategically going on autopilot. She collaborates with clinical researchers looking at, for example: obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction and obesity. De Wit is an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology and leads the Habit Lab. |


Brain and mind

Prof. Cyriel Pennartz is concerned with the brain and its relationship to mental processes. In 2021, his popular science book De Code van het Bewustzijn (The Code of Consciousness) - about understanding the connection between brain and mind - was published. Pennartz is professor of Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience at the UvA's Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences. He is one of the leaders of the Human Brain Project, Europe's largest neuroscience project to date. || 020 525 7618

Frank Jacobs (photo: Dirk Gillissen)
Photo: Dirk Gillissen
Brain development

Dr Frank Jacobs' areas of expertise are the evolution of the human brain, embryonic brain development, genetic differences between apes and humans, the evolution of our DNA, and the balance between evolutionary innovation and vulnerability to human disease. Jacob is an associate professor at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences and heads the Jacobs Lab there. | | 020 525 7061

Power and hierarchies

Prof. Gerben van Kleef is professor of Social Psychology. His research focuses on the question of how people relate to each other in a deeply social world. His main research looks at emotion, power/hierarchy, social norms, conflict, and cooperation. In much of his work, he takes an interpersonal perspective, exploring how individuals influence and interact with each other in a variety of social and organisational settings, including personal relationships, group decision-making, persuasion, conflict, negotiation, consumer behaviour, leadership, and sports . ||020 525 6894

Transgression of norms

Dr Eftychia Stamkou is a social and cultural psychologist. Her research interests lie in the fields of art, culture, power and transgression of norms. She studies, among other things, how people react to norm violations and under which circumstances this behaviour generates power for the transgressor. In addition, Stamkou is concerned with how people react to art that violates and challenges commonly shared norms (for example, heteronormativity). | | 020 525 6756

Claudi Bockting (photo: Marieke Lorijn)
Photo: Marieke Lorijn
Mental illnesses and their treatment

Prof. Claudi Bockting specialises in common mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, which are characterised by disturbances in emotions. She focuses in particular on potentially modifiable factors that cause and/or maintain a disorder, as well as the development of innovative psychological interventions, including apps, serious games, chatbots and virtual reality interventions. She applies insights from other scientific fields such as 'complex systems' to arrive at new targets for promoting mental well-being and the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. Bockting is professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry and a clinical psychologist/psychotherapist at Amsterdam UMC, as well as co-director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Mental Health. |

Bastiaan Rutjens (photo: Dirk Gillissen)
Photo: Dirk Gillissen
Psychology of science

Dr Bastiaan Rutjens' research interests are lie in social and cultural psychology, within which he focuses on the psychology of belief systems and worldviews. His area of expertise is the field of the psychology of science, with a focus on scientific scepticism, religion and superstition, and dealing with existential uncertainty and a lack of control. Rutjens is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and heads the Psychology of Science lab there. | 020 525 6744 |

Henk Jan Conradi

Dr Henk Jan Conradi specialises in relationships. He examines relationship problems, bonding between partners, and the effectiveness of couples therapy. He has also published research in the field of individual therapy and depression. Conradi is an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology. His interest in history resulted in a permanent photo exhibition on the campus about the history of psychology at the UvA. | 020 525 6810 |

Reinout Wiers

Prof. Reinout Wiers specialises in the (neuro)cognitive processes in the development of addiction - including alcohol, smoking and cannabis addictions - and the development of new methods to influence those processes. He is also concerned with the clinical applicability of the network approach to psychopathology. Wiers is professor of Developmental Psychopathology and co-director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Mental Health. He is one of the principal investigators of the New Science of Mental Disorders consortium (funded from the Zwaartekracht-programma). Wiers was also one of the initiators of UvAcare and Caring Universities, aimed at improving the mental health of students and PhD candidates. |