brainBrain function and dysfunction over the lifespan

The brain is our most complex organ, and makes us into the functioning beings that we are. It is extraordinary powerful and resilient, yet also vulnerable. We can see this is as the population is ageing, and emotional tolls and stress are increasing. We also see it in the developing child as problems with language development or pervasive disorders arise. And we are now better than ever able to see and measure what happens in the brain. 

This research profile area brings together the cognitive and the biomedical neurosciences in a unique multidisciplinary setting, studying brain function and dysfunction in the developing brain, the adult brain and the ageing brain. The underlying belief is that anyone wanting to know why something in the brain goes wrong first has to know what normal brains look like and how they function. We study subjects ranging from language processing to cognitive robotics, and from migraine to psychiatric disorders and neuro-pharmacology. 

In combination with an interdisciplinary approach, (MRI) technology develpment is the main motor behind brain and cognitive research. A 7 Tesla ultra high field MRI scanner is located in the C.J. Gorter Centre for High Field MRI, a joint initiative of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Faculty of Science. The university and the LUMC also have excellent research facilties for EEG, image processing, neurobiological research and behavioural experiments, patient research, neurocognitive modelling, drug research, molecualr imaging and data processing.

Do rebels grow up to be kinder adults?


The brain regions that are responsible for both risky behavior and empathy and 'prosocial' behavior are developing rapidly in adolescence. By taking MRi scans and surveying 200 children and 200 adolescents...

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Why you can't stop checking your phone


Suppose you abide by the new no smartphone while cycling law and you keep your phone safely in your pocket. One minute passes. Five minutes pass. But then, almost automatically, your hand...

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The constant struggle against itchy skin


One out of seven pople in the Netherlands suffer from uncontrollable itchy skin, every single day. More and more scientists are interested in the effects. one of those professors is...

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Sugars or sweeteners?


  Are you craving something sweet? You better take a regular coke than a cola light. Your brain responds beter to sugars than to sweeteners. That is the conclusion of researcher...

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What obesity does to your brain


  A study that collected MRI scans of thousands of people of different sizes found those carrying dangerous amounts of weight have 'smaller volumes of important structures of the brain'. The...

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Hearing the sound of your own voice - why so different?


Have you ever heard a recording of your own voice and thought: is that really my voice? If so, you are not the only one. How can it be though...

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A special headset to help you sleep better - dream or realit…


Een speciale headset die via elektrodes je hersenen helpt ‘herprogrammeren’. Zo'n ‘slaapmuts’ kan volgens onderzoeksinstituut Brainclinics in Nijmegen een simpele oplossing bieden bij slaapproblemen. A special headset that helps your brain...

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What do you choose: stairs or escalator?


Knowing that something is the healthiest choice, doesn't always mean that you actually make that choice. What are our decisions based on? That's what researchers of the Leiden Institute of...

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Can snow be a trigger for migraine?


  What triggers a migraine attack? Can migraine be triggered by weather changes? Or by bright sunlight reflected from snow? Those questions were answered by neurology professor Michael Ferrari of Leiden University in the NRC's...

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