Antoinette van Laarhoven, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 6634
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Instituut Psychologie, Gezondheids, Medische- Neuropsychologie
Office Address: Pieter de la Court gebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2A09

  • PhD Medical Sciences; Itch and pain: common and distinct psychophysiological factors (2012)

  • Master Biomedical Sciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen (2006)


My research focuses on the psychoneurobiology of itch and pain, with a special interest in unraveling the mechanisms of chronic itch and pain conditions, such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and post-burn itch. Currently, I have a particular focus on the neurobiological processing (e.g. measured by EEG) of induced itch and pain by use of quantitative sensory testing (QST), and the role of expectations in the experience of these somatosensory sensations.

Grants and prizes

  • Grant from the Dutch Burn Wounds Foundation for the project (first project leader): Psycho-neurobiology of itch symptoms in patients following burn injuries

  • Association for Researchers in Psychology & Health (ARPH) - PhD Thesis Award for the best PhD thesis on psychology and health in 2012.

  • Dutch Society for Psychodermatology (NVPD) – Article prize for the best publication in the field of Psychodermatology in the years 2010 and 2011.

PhD candidates (co-promotor)

(Inter)national activities

(Inter)national scientific memberships

  • Member International Forum for the Study on Itch (IFSI)

  • Member Association for Research in Psychology & Health (ARPH)

  • Board Member Nederlandse Vereniging voor Psychodermatologie (NVPD)

Research schools and institutes

  • Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)

  • Experimental Psychopathology (EPP)

  • Leiden institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC)


Press and Public Media (selection)

Van Laarhoven, A.I.M., 'Jeuk went niet maar wordt erger'. Leidsch Dagblad, 2 September 2015. [link]

Scudellari, M. (2013). Worried sick (Interview with van Laarhoven, A.I.M.). The Scientist, July 2013. [link]

Evers, A.W.M., van Laarhoven, A.I.M. (2013). Itch [Jeuk]. Nederland 3, BNN Je zult het maar hebben, June 18, 2013. [link]

Van Laarhoven, A.I.M., 'Jeuk zien of verwachten, doet al krabben'. Volkskrant, 2012 [link]

Evers, A.W.M., van Laarhoven, A.I.M. (2012). Placebo effects [Placebo effecten]. Nederland 2, VPRO Labyrint Science TV 2012, January 18. [link]

Publications (selection)

Publications in international peer reviewed journals (selection)

Van Laarhoven, AIM, van der Sman-Mauriks, IM, Donders, ART, Pronk, MC, van de Kerkhof, PCM, Evers, AWM. Placebo effects on itch: A meta-analysis of clinical trials of patients with dermatological conditions. Accepted for publication in Journal of Investigative Dermatology [Impact Factor (IF) 6.37 – Ranking in Dermatology 1/61]. 

Bartels, D, van Laarhoven, A, Haverkamp, E, Wilder-Smith, O, Donders, R, van Middendorp, H, van der Kerkhof, P, & Evers, A (2014) Role of conditioning and verbal suggestion in placebo and nocebo effects on itch. Plos One (in press). [IF 3.5 3- Ranking in Multidisciplinary sciences 8/55]. 

Evers, AWM, Verhoeven, EWM, Van Middendorp, H, Sweep, FCGJ, Kraaimaat, FW, Donders, ART, Eijsbouts, AE, Van Laarhoven, AIM, De Brouwer, SJM, Wirken, L, Radstake, TRDJ, & Van Riel, PLCM (2014). Does stress affect the joints? Daily stressors, stress vulnerability, immune and HPA axis activity, and short-term disease and symptom fluctuations in rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, in press. [IF 9.27 – Ranking in Rheumatology 2/30]. 

Van Laarhoven, AIM,
Kraaimaat, FW, Wilder-Smith, OH, van Riel, PLCM, van de Kerkhof, PCM, & Evers, AWM (2013). Sensitivity to itch and pain in patients with psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Experimental Dermatology, 22, 530-534. [IF 4.12 – Ranking in Dermatology 6/61]. 

Van Laarhoven AIM
, Vogelaar ML, Wilder-Smith OH, van Riel PLCM, van de Kerkhof PCM, Kraaimaat FW, Evers AWM. Induction of nocebo and placebo effects on itch and pain by verbal suggestions. Pain 2011; 152: 1486-94 [IF 5.84 – Ranking in Anaesthesiology 2/29]. 

Van Laarhoven AIM,
Kraaimaat FW, Wilder-Smith OH, Evers AWM. Role of Attentional Focus on Bodily Sensations in Sensitivity to Itch and Pain. Acta Dermato-Venereologica 2010; 90: 46-51 [IF 4.24 – Ranking in Dermatology 5/61]. 

Van Laarhoven AIM,
Kraaimaat FW, Wilder-Smith OH, van de Kerkhof PCM, Evers AWM. Heterotopic pruritic conditioning and itch – Analogous to DNIC in pain? Pain 2010; 149: 332-7 [IF 5.84 – Ranking in Anaesthesiology 1/29]. 

Publications in national journals (selection) 

Van Laarhoven AIM.
Inductie van nocebo- en placebo- effecten op jeuk en pijn door verbale suggestie. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Dermatologie en Venereologie 2013; 23(1): 14-15. 

Van Laarhoven AIM.
Pijn en jeuk: Een vergelijking van psychofysiologische factoren. Nederlands tijdschrift voor pijn en pijnbestrijding 2012; 51: 21-25. 

Van Laarhoven AIM.
Jeuk en pijn: Psychofysiologische overeenkomsten en verschillen. Supplement 2012; 6: 20-24. 

Van Laarhoven AIM.
Psychofysiologie van jeuk en pijn: Two of a kind? Nederlands tijdschrift voor Dermatologie en Venereologie 2012; 22(7):449-451.

Last Modified: 14-01-2016