I am an Assistant Professor in the Amsterdam Emotional Memory Lab at the Department of Clinical Psychology. As a cognitive neuroscientist with a background in clinical psychology, I investigate brain mechanisms underlying the plasticity of emotional memory. Specifically, by combining behavioural experimentation with psychophysiology and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) I seek to gain fundamental insights into the evolution of autobiographical memory over time, as well as into procedures that target maladaptive processes underlying (intrusive) memories of trauma. In general, I am interested in how cognitive neuroscience can improve mental health care by informing psychological treatment development.
Currently, I am focusing on three research lines: one on the role of odour in the formation and (spontaneous) recollection of distressing memories of analogue trauma, one on translating insights in emotional memory from animal models to human models and clinical populations, and a third on mapping (change in) the affective tone of autobiographical memories using neuroimaging and representational similarity analysis. I have been awarded a NWO Veni grant for my project "In search of the affective engram of autobiographical memory".
After completing a clinical master (2009, cum laude), and a research master (2010, cum laude), I did my PhD (2016, cum laude) with Prof Merel Kindt and Dr H. Steven Scholte at the University of Amsterdam. For my post-doctoral training (November 2015-August 2018) I worked with Prof Emily Holmes and Prof Rik Henson at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge. During this time I was gratefully supported by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Union. In 2020 I obtained my University Teaching Qualification (BKO).