Ellen de Bruijn, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Chair Bachelor's Programme Committee
  • Performance monitoring
  • Error detection
  • EEG/fMRI/Psychopharmacology
  • Social Cognitive Neuropsychiatry
  • Psychopathy; social anxiety; schizophrenia

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 3748
E-Mail: edebruijn@fsw.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Instituut Psychologie, Klinische Psychologie
Office Address: Pieter de la Court gebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2B47
Personal Homepage: www.ellendebruijn.com

Ellen de Bruijn studied Cognitive Science at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She obtained her PhD from the same university in 2005 on a thesis entitled ‘Action monitoring in normal and altered states’. She then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany and as an assistant professor in Neuropyschology at the Radboud University. From 2008 to 2014 she was employed as a professor in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. As of 2011 she has been an associate professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Research by Ellen de Bruijn

I study the cognitive and neural mechanisms of action-control processes that are necessary to interact successfully with the environment and with other humans. In order to perform in a safe, efficient, and socially adequate manner, humans need to continuously monitor own and other’s behavior for errors and possible deviations from the goal. Research has identified the cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in performance monitoring in non-social contexts, but social performance monitoring has only recently begun to receive attention. The relevance of this central process becomes evident when disturbances arise. In my research line on social cognitive neuropsychiatry, we investigate disturbed social performance-monitoring processes in different psychiatric disorders. To provide an integrated view of the different processes, we make use of various approaches and methods, such as behavioral experiments, EEG, and fMRI techniques, as well as psychopharmacological manipulations. Besides the investigation of performance-monitoring processes, I also study other relevant processes that enable social action control, e.g., approach-avoidance behavior, the formation of shared task representations, and social decision-making. Finally, I examine possible disturbances in these processes in different psychiatric disorders with evident social dysfunctions, such as psychopathy, social anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.



VIDI personal grant for experienced researchers from NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) (PI). Project title: “Me, myself, and… you: a social cognitive neuropsychiatry perspective on performance monitoring” (€ 799.920)


IWT (Innovation Through Science and Technology) research grant (co-PI). Project title: “Social action control in schizophrenia” (€ 240.000), Belgium


DCC PhD grant (PI). Project title: “Neuropharmacology of social adaptive behavior” (€ 200.000)


VENI personal young researcher grant from NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) (PI). Project title: “Social modulations of adaptive behavior: a neurocognitive approach” (€ 236.253)


Grant from the Niels Stensen Foundation for international postdoctoral research (PI) (€ 29.400)

PhD candidates

  1. Didier Schrijvers "Monitoring slow motions: Action disturbances in major depressive disorder" (2009, University of Antwerp)
  2.  Marianne Destoop “Action control in social contexts in major depression”  (2013, University of Antwerp)

  3. Sofie Houthoofd “The effect of treatment on action disturbances in schizophrenia” (2013, University of Antwerp)

  4. Inti Brazil “Change doesn’t come easy: dynamics of adaptive behavior in psychopathy” (Cum Laude; 2013, Radboud University Nijmegen)

  5. Sina Radke “Acting social: Neuroendocrine and clinical modulations of approach and decision behavior” (2014, Radboud University Nijmegen)

  6. Katinka von Borries “Carrots & sticks: A neurobehavioral investigation of affective outcome processing in psychopathy” (2014, Radboud University Nijmegen)

Media that focused on my research

Last Modified: 26-07-2016