Veni winner Berna Güroğlu studies the adolescent brain
What happens in the brain of an adolescent when he responds to a peer? This is what development psychologist Berna Güroğlu is interested in finding out. She is using her VENI grant for young researchers to fund a three-year study on the interaction between adolescents.
Leiden research on social development is progressing fast.´Brain research in particular is highly innovative,’ emphasizes Berna Güroğlu. Güroğlu is investigating the interaction of adolescents with their peers. In the Leiden Brain and Development Lab she measures what happens in the brain during the interaction of an adolescent with his classmates. Which areas of the brain are activated when adolescents see someone they like? What about someone they don’t like? Is there a difference? These are the questions that keep Güroğlu busy.
In her search for answers, Berna Güroğlu first carries out sociometric research in the classroom. She has the students fill in questionnaires in order to map the relationships between them. She then invites pupils to act as experimental subjects in her lab. Subjects lying in a scanner are asked to play online games with their classmates who are using a computer elsewhere in the lab. Measuring of brain activity can now begin. Güroğlu is curious to see whether the activity in certain areas of the social brain network is dependent on a positive or a negative relation between classmates.
Her VENI grant allows her to carry out innovative research on the social development of children aged 8 to 18 for a period of three years. Berna Güroğlu: ´Until now there has hardly been any research on the extent to which brain activity in social interaction is related to positive or negative interrelations.’
- Berna Güroğlu's personal homepage
- Brain and Developmentl Lab
- Institute for Psychology - Development and Education
- Studying Psychology in Leiden,
bachelor's, master's and research master's: Decision Making and Action Control in Self-Regulation of Human Behaviour
(15 november 2010/ Mardet van Gennip)