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Mw. prof. dr. M. (Merel) Kindt

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
Programmagroep: Clinical Psychology
Fotograaf: Jeroen Oerlemans

  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 129
  • Kamernummer:1.43
  • Postbus 15933
    1001 NK Amsterdam
  • Profile

    Research Interests

    My research is concerned with the understanding of neurobiological and psychological processes of fear and anxiety with the main focus on the mechanisms of change in the treatment of anxiety and related disorders. Although cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is effective in reducing fear for most anxiety disorders, a high percentage of patients experience a relapse even after apparently successful treatment. The prevailing view on the return of fear is that CBT can eliminate all fearful responding , but does not erase the original fear memory. Partial or full reappearance of fear may be explained by intact fear memories that resurface. Once a fear memory has been established, it is held to be forever. Insights from neuroscience suggest that it is unnecessarily defeatist to regard fear memory as irreversible. Fear conditioning research in animals and humans shows that reactivation of a consolidated fear memory can turn it to a labile, sensitive state in which the memory trace can be changed. Disruption of fear memory reconsolidation may prevent the return of fear and is thereby a promising therapeutic strategy for patients with anxiety and related disorders. We utilise the fear-conditioning paradigm to achieve a better understanding of the optimal and boundary conditions of changing fear memory. I believe that basic research is required for a step-change improvement of treatment for psychiatric disorders.

    Selected Publications

    • Kindt, M. , Soeter, M., & Vervliet, B. (2009). Beyond extinction: Erasing human fear responses and preventing the return of fear. Nature Neuroscience, 12, 256-258.
    • Sevenster, D., Beckers, T. & Kindt, M. (2013). Prediction error governs pharmacologically induced amnesia for learned fear. Science, 339, 830-833.
    • Visser, R.M., Scholte, H.S., Beemsterboer, T., & Kindt, M. (2013). Neural pattern similarity predicts long-term fear memory. Nature Neuroscience, 16, 388-390.
    • Soeter, M., & Kindt, M. (2015). An abrupt transformation of phobic behavior following a post-retrieval amnesic agent. Biological Psychiatry, 78, 880-886.
    • Elsey, J.W.B., van Ast, A., & Kindt, M. (2018). Human memory reconsolidation: A guiding framework and critical review of the evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 144, 797-848.
    • Kindt, M. (2018). The surprising subtleties of changing fear memory: a challenge for translational science. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 373(1742), 20170033.
    • Kindt, M., & Soeter, M. (2018). Pharmacologically induced amnesia for learned fear is time and sleep dependent. Nature Communications, 9:1316.
  • Curriculum Vitae & Publications
  • Media Coverage
  • Links
  • Publicaties




    • Elsey, J., & Kindt, M. (2016). Manipulating human memory through reconsolidation: Ethical Implications of a New Therapeutic Approach. AJOB Neuroscience, 7(4), 225-236. https://doi.org/10.1080/21507740.2016.1218377 [details]
    • Kindt, M., & van Emmerik, A. (2016). New avenues for treating emotional memory disorders: Towards a reconsolidation intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder . Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology, 6(4), 283-295. https://doi.org/10.1177/2045125316644541 [details]
    • Visser, R. M., de Haan, M. I. C., Beemsterboer, T., Haver, P., Kindt, M., & Scholte, H. S. (2016). Quantifying learning‐dependent changes in the brain: Single trial multivoxel pattern analysis requires slow event related fMRI. Psychophysiology, 53(8), 1117-1127. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.12665 [details]


    • Das, R. K., Gale, G., Walsh, K., Hennessy, V. E., Iskandar, G., Mordecai, L. A., Brandner, B., Kindt, M., Curran, H. V., & Kamboj, S. K. (2020). Ketamine can reduce harmful drinking by pharmacologically rewriting drinking memories. Biological Psychiatry, 87(9, Supplement), S191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.02.498


    • Kunze, A. E., Arntz, A., Morina, N., Kindt, M., & Lancee, J. (2018). Imagery rescripting and imaginal exposure for nightmares: efficacy and mechanisms of change. Journal of Sleep Research, 27(S1), 417-418. [P722].


    • Geven, L., Klein Selle, N., Ben-Shakhar, G., Kindt, M., & Verschuere, B. (2017). Conceal, don't feel, don't let it show: intentional versus instructed cheating in the Concealed Information Test. Psychophysiology, 54(S1), S12. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.12928 [details]
    • Kunze, A., Arntz, A., Morina, N., Kindt, M., & Lancee, J. (2017). Treatment efficacy of imagery rescripting and imaginal exposure for nightmares: Evidence from a randomized wait-list controlled trial. Sleep Medicine, 40(Supplement 1), e178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2017.11.521 [details]


    • Kindt, M. (2020). ZonMW Open Competition.
    • Kindt, M. (2017). NWO research talent grant.
    • Kindt, M. (2016). ERC Advanced Grant.
    • Kindt, M. (2016). NWO Research talent grant.
    • Kindt, M. (2014). Medical Research Council (MRC) Project Grant.
    • Kindt, M. (2007). NWO VICI grant.


    • Kindt, M. (2014-2016). ERC Consolidator Grant Panel Member, The Human Mind and its
      Complexity (SH4). Per 2016 deputy chair of the ERC consolidator SH4
      panel, ERC.
    • Kindt, M. (2013-). MRC Centre, Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge.
    • Kindt, M. (2012). Chair Person of Amsterdam Summer School: Emotional Memory: From
      Patient to Synapse - Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, .
    • Kindt, M. (2011-2012). Chairman of the committee 'Evaluation of Cognitive Interventions', Ministerie van Justitie (WODC), Den Haag.
    • Kindt, M. (2006-2016). Chair Person of the Department of Clinical Psychology, .
    • Kindt, M. (2006-2007). membership committee 'Health Insurance Protocal Anxiety Disorders', Health Council of the Netherlands, Den Haag.
    • Kindt, M. (2005-2010). Member of Research Master Committee of Psychology: Development of
      the Research Master Program of Psychology, .
    • Kindt, M. (2003-2014). Board member of the Dutch-Flemish Inter-University Postgraduate School
      'Experimental Psychopathology', Dutch-Flemish Inter-University Postgraduate School 'Experimental Psychopathology' (EPP).
    • Kindt, M. (2001-2003). membership committee 'Implications of new possibilities to influence the brain', Health Council of the Netherlands, Den Haag.


    • Kindt, M. (02-05-2016). New Republic. The Cure For Fear: Scientists have discovered a radical new way to treat our most traumatic memories.
    • Kindt, M. (22-01-2016). The New York Times [Print]. A Drug to Cure Fear.
    • Kindt, M. (17-12-2015). De Dagelijkse Standaard. Ben jij bang voor spinnen? Dit is hoe je er met twee minuten in één klap vanaf bent.
    • Kindt, M. (16-12-2015). RTL Nieuws. Bang voor spinnen? Je kunt er in 2 minuten vanaf en de angst is echt weg.
    • Kindt, M. (15-12-2015). The Washington Post [Print]. Overcoming the fear of spiders, in 2 minutes.
    • Kindt, M. (15-12-2015). Het Laatste Nieuws [Print]. Zo geraak je in twee minuten van je angst voor spinnen af.
    • Kindt, M. (10-12-2015). International Business Times. Forget your fears - new way to erase phobias discovered.
    • Kindt, M. (27-05-2015). De Volmaakte Mens [Television]. Amsterdam: Weg met de angst.
    • Kindt, M. (31-08-2013). NRC Handelsblad [Print]. Moeilijk af te leren.
    • Kindt, M. (25-02-2009). Deutschlandfunk [Web]. Pille fürs Vergessen.
    • Kindt, M. (16-02-2009). Der Spiegel [Print]. Forscher löschen Erinnerungen aus dem Angstgedächtnis.
    • Kindt, M. (15-02-2009). Reuters [Web]. Study takes step toward erasing bad memories.


    • Kindt, M. (reviewer) (2012-2017). Clinical Psychological Science (Journal).
    • Kindt, M. (reviewer) (2011-2017). Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Journal).


    • Kindt, M. (examiner) (17-12-2020). Persistent remembering and directed forgetting: Appraising emotional memory attenuation techniques (examination).
    • Kindt, M. (host) (6-2011). L. Nadel (hosting a visitor).
    • Kindt, M. (host) (27-8-2010 - 15-10-2010). M.J. Telch (hosting a visitor).


    • klein Selle, N. (2017). What are you hiding? The underlying and contributing mechanisms of physiological memory detection. [details]
    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.
  • Nevenwerkzaamheden
    • Kindt Clinics
      Klinisch werk: supervisie en behandeling van fobieën en PTSS (kindtclinics.com)