Hilal Cerit, PhD

  • Postdoc
  • Genetic vulnerability to depression
  • Emotional processing
  • Stress
  • Serotonin manipulation
  • Pharmacological fMRI

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2727
E-Mail: cerith@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


Hilâl Cerit completed her Masters Degree in Neurosciences at the Free University in Amsterdam in 2008. During her Masters she left Amsterdam in order to conduct a study on emotional processing by means of fNIRS at the University of Oxford, under supervision of Professor Robert D. Rogers. Her PhD project involves studies examining the genetic, biochemical and neural correlates of cognitive vulnerability to depression.


Genetic, biochemical and neural correlates of vulnerability to depression.

The main question my research aims to answer is, how genetic and environmental factors make us vulnerable to develop psychopathology, and in particular to major depressive disorder. Specifically, the projects I have been working on aimed to investigate 1) how these aforementioned factors interact and give rise to altered physiological, neural and behavioural responses and 2) how we can target these defective responses by means of pharmacological and/or dietary interventions.

Some of the methods and measures I have used in order to find the answer to these questions include: pharmacological and serotonergic interventions, Trier Social Stress Task, fMRI and several (emotional) information processing tasks.


Cerit H.,Jans L.A.W., Van der Does A.J.W. (2013). The effect of tryptophan on the cortisol response to social stress is modulated by the 5-HTTLPR genotype. Psychoneuroendocrinology 38(2):201-208.

N. Antypa, H. Cerit, A.W. Kruijt, F.E.A. Verhoeven, A.J.W. Van der Does (2011), Relationships among 5-HTT genotype, life events and gender in the recognition of facial emotions. Neuroscience 172, 303-313.

Last Modified: 21-09-2015