For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Dr. M. (Milica) Nikolic

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Developmental psychopathology

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 127
Postal address
  • Postbus 15776
    1001 NG Amsterdam
Contact details
Social media
  • Profile

    Biography 

    I received my bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2008 at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia and my master's degree in Psychology in 2009 at Belgrade University, Serbia. I started my Ph.D. in 2013 at the Research Institute of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam. I participated in the longitudinal project of prof. dr Susan Bögels on the intergenerational transmission of anxiety. My Ph.D. dissertation was focused on the development of social anxiety disorder (SAD). I investigated whether heightened self-conscious emotions and disturbances in social cognition contribute to the development of children's SAD symptoms. I discovered that not only inhibited children but also children with heightened self-conscious emotional arousal are at risk for developing SAD symptoms. During my Ph.D. track, I visited the Psychotherapy and Emotion lab led by Dr. Stefan Hofmann at Boston University, US and the Center for Emotional Health led by Dr. Jennie Hudson at Macquarie University, Australia. I also received a Kind & Adolescent travel grant to visit Emotion & Self Lab at the University of British Columbia, Canada. My Ph.D. thesis was awarded cum laude in June 2017 and was voted among the best three Ph.D. theses in the Netherlands in the field of child psychology (biennial doctoral thesis award of VNOP). My doctoral work has also been recognized internationally by the European Association of Developmental Psychology and their George Butterworth Young Scientist Award, which is awarded every two years “to young scholars who have made valuable contributions to the field of Developmental Psychology at an early stage of their career”.  My post-doctoral work on neural mechanisms of self-conscious emotions in social anxiety has been supported by Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Talent grant. I have collaborated with Dr. Disa Sauter, Dr. Christian Keysers, and Dr. Valeria Gazzola on this project. In 2020, I joined the Comparative Psychology and Affective Neuroscience Lab in Leiden University led by Dr. Mariska Kret as a post-doctoral researcher working on emotion perception and expression in typically developing children and healthy adults as well as adults with social anxiety disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Since then, I supervise PhD candidates Julia Folz, Iliana Samara, and Christopher Riddel together with Dr. Mariska Kret, who is their promoter. Their work focuses on mimicry, emotion perception, emotion expression, and cooperation. Since 2021, I have been appointed assistant professor in the developmental psychopathology group at the Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam where I continue my work on the intersection between social cognition and emotion throughout human development currently supported by NWO Veni grant.

    Research interests

    My research interests evolve around social cognition and emotions in social situations. I am interested in understanding how children and adults feel in social situations, how they think about other people, and how these feelings and thoughts influence their social behaviors.  I investigate how socio-cognitive abilities such as Theory of Mind and self-conscious emotions, such as shyness, shame, and guilt develop in infants and young children and how they guide social behaviors. Considering that humans are a highly social species, I am interested in understanding these processes by taking into account the social context - for example, I examine how emotion expression is modulated by the presence of others and how these expressions affect others. 

  • Publications

    2022

    • Brummelman, E., Nikolic, M., Nevicka, B., & Bögels, S. M. (Accepted/In press). Early physiological indicators of narcissism and self-esteem in children. Psychophysiology.
    • Folz, J., Fiacchino, D., Nikolić, M., van Steenbergen, H., & Kret, M. (2022). Reading your emotions in my physiology? Reliable emotion interpretations in absence of a robust physiological resonance. Affective Science. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42761-021-00083-5
    • MacGowan, T., Colonnesi, C., Nikolic, M., & Schmidt, L. (2022). Expressions of shyness and theory of mind in children: A psychophysiological study. Cognitive Development, 61, [101138]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2021.101138
    • Samara, I., Roth, T. S., Nikolic, M., Prochazkova, E., & Kret, M. E. (2022). Can third-party observers detect attraction in others based on subtle nonverbal cues? Current Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-02927-0

    2021

    • Nikolic, M., & Roth, T. (2021). A comparative glance on self-conscious emotions: A commentary on Kret et al. (2020). Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.07.031
    • Nikolic, M., Hannigan, L., Krebs, G., Sterne, A., Gregory, A. M., & Eley, T. C. (2021). Aetiology of shame and its association with adolescent depression and anxiety: results from a prospective twin and sibling study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13465

    2020

    2019

    2018

    2017

    • Aktar, E., Nikolic, M., & Bögels, S. M. (2017). Environmental transmission of generalized anxiety disorder from parents to children: Worries, experiential avoidance, and intolerance of uncertainty. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 19(2), 137-147. [details]
    • Colonnesi, C., Nikolić, M., de Vente, W., & Bögels, S. M. (2017). Social anxiety symptoms in young children: Investigating the interplay of theory of mind and expressions of shyness. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45(5), 997-1011. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-016-0206-0 [details]

    2016

    2015

    2020

    2019

    • Nikolic, M., Van der Storm, L., Colonnesi, C., Brummelman, E., Kan, K. J., & Bögels, S. M. (2019). Socio-cognitive Abilities, self-consciousness, and social anxiety: Developmental and psychobiological perspective. Paper presented at International Convention of Psychological Science (2019), Paris, France.

    2017

    • Zeegers, M. A. J., de Vente, W., Nikolic, M., Colonnesi, C., Majdandzic, M., & Bögels, S. M. (2017). The influence of parental Mind-Mindedness on infants’ heart rate variability from 4 to 12 months. Poster session presented at Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) 2017, Austin, Texas, United States.

    2016

    • Nikolic, M. (2016). Blushing: A physiological marker of the development of social anxiety disorder. Paper presented at 8th World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (WCBCT) 2016, Melbourne, Australia.
    • Nikolic, M., Colonnesi, C., & Bögels, S. M. (2016). Shy but not inhibited? Physiological and behavioral reactions of positively shy, negatively shy, and non-shy infants. Paper presented at International Conference on Infant Studies (ICIS) 2016, New Orleans (LA), United States.
    • Zeegers, M. A. J., de Vente, W., Nikolic, M., Majdandzic, M., Colonnesi, C., & Bögels, S. M. (2016). The influence of mothers and fathers' mind-mindedness on infants' physiological emotion regulation across the first year of life. Paper presented at VNOP-ISED-CAS Research Days 2016.

    2015

    • Möller, E. L., Nikolic, M., Majdandzic, M., de Vente, W., & Bögels, S. M. (2015). Associations between maternal and paternal parenting behavior and anxiety in early childhood: A meta-analysis. Poster session presented at Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) 2015 , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
    • Nikolic, M., Colonnesi, C., de Vente, W., & Bögels, S. M. (2015). Socio-cognitive, physiological, and behavioral aspects of childhood social anxiety. Poster session presented at Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) 2015 , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

    Award

    • Nikolic, M. (2019). George Butterworth Young Scientist Award.
    • Nikolic, M. (2016). Kind en Adolescent travel award.

    Talk / presentation

    • Nikolic, M. (speaker), Colonnesi, C. (speaker) & Bögels, S. (speaker) (6-7-2020). Implicit self-awareness in infancy as a predictor of self-conscious emotions in childhood, The International Congres of Infant Studies.
    • Nikolic, M. (speaker), Brummelman, E. (speaker), Kan, K. J. (speaker) & Colonnesi, C. (speaker) (19-11-2019). Parental mentalization and warmth as predictors of children’s self-conscious emotions and prosocial behaviours, VNOP – CAS Research Days 2019, Utrecht.
    • Nikolic, M. (speaker) (8-2019). Social emotions and social cognition in the development of social anxiety disorder., 19th European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Athens.
    • Nikolic, M. (speaker), de Vente, W. (speaker), Colonnesi, C. (speaker) & Bogels, S. M. (speaker) (12-11-2015). Autonomic arousal in children of parents with and without social anxiety disorder, Presentation at the Research Days VNOP-ISED-CAS, Leiden, Netherlands.
    • Nikolic, M. (speaker), Colonnesi, C. (speaker), de Vente, W. (speaker) & Bögels, S. M. (speaker) (13-11-2014). Socio-cognitive, physiological, and behavioral aspects of childhood social anxiety, Presentation at the ISED Research Days, Amsterdam, NL.
    • Colonnesi, C. (speaker) & Nikolic, M. (speaker) (4-10-2014). De expressie van verlegenheid bij baby’s en jonge kinderen, College voor breed publiek (LAB) in het Weekend van de Wetenschap, Amsterdam, NL.
    • Nikolic, M. (speaker), Colonnesi, C. (speaker), de Vente, W. (speaker) & Bögels, S. M. (speaker) (10-9-2014). The relationship between theory of mind and childhood social anxiety, Presentation at the congress of the European Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Therapies (EABCT), The Hague, NL.
    • Möller, E. L. (speaker), Nikolic, M. (speaker), Majdandžić, M. (speaker), de Vente, W. (speaker) & Bögels, S. M. (speaker) (9-9-2014). Associations between maternal and paternal parenting behavior and anxiety in early childhood: A meta-analysis, Paper presented at the Child Anxiety Theory and Treatment Seminars (CATTS), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    • Nikolic, M. (speaker), Colonnesi, C. (speaker), de Vente, W. (speaker) & Bögels, S. M. (speaker) (24-6-2014). Theory of mind and blushing predict Childhood Social Anxiety, Paper presented at the International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy, Hong Kong.
    • Nikolic, M. (speaker), Colonnesi, C. (speaker), de Vente, W. (speaker), Drummond, P. (speaker) & Bogels, S. M. (speaker) (15-11-2013). The relationship between blushing and social anxiety: A meta-analytic review, Paper presented at the ISED research days 2013, Amsterdam (NL).
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities