Welcome to the Connected Minds lab website

Our research group seeks to understand the relation between changes in brain function and structure and the development of learning and decision-making.

Learning lays the foundation for adaptive decisions, enabling us to predict and anticipate future events in our environment. In turn the contingencies in the environment shape the developmental process, which may lead to biases in learning and decision-making strategies.

We are specifically interested in the interaction between the social environment and developmental processes. For instance, we investigate how we use information form our environment for social learning, and we study social influence on decision-making.

In addition we are interested in how the social environment is represented and how it impacts behavior. For this we rely on social network analyses to quantify social relations and determine social position.

To gain a better understanding of these developmental processes we rely on a wide array of methods, ranging from behavioral experiments, surveys, corpus analysis, hormonal assays, and neuroimaging.

Computational modeling is central to our approach. Computational models provide access to latent variables that cannot be directly observed from behaviour. These latent variables these models support spanning the bridge between developmental theories and neurobiology, and enable to identify more specific processes that underlie developmental change.

For more detail and specific topics see Research

The lab’s work is currently funded by the Nederlands organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO), European Research Council (ERC), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG),  Amsterdam Center for Brain and Cognition (ABC), the University of Amsterdam (IDA), Research Institute of Child Development and Education (Yield), and the Jacobs Foundation.