NWO Grant for Replication Studies

Wooded forest trees backlit by golden sunlight before sunset wit

Dr. Karin Tanja-Dijkstra is awarded a grant from NWO for a replication project. She will replicate the influential research of Ulrich, Simons, Losito, Fiorito, Miles and Zelson (1991) into the stress-reducing effects of staying in a natural environment for people, which is the largest experiment ever carried out in the field of environmental psychology.

Over the grant: For the first time, NWO is funding nine projects from the health and social sciences that replicate research from others. It concerns research performed in the past that has been the basis for subsequent research or that has assumed an important place in education, policy forming or public debate. NWO wants to replicate such ‘cornerstone research’ in order to contribute to increased transparency in research and the quality of reporting of research results. With the awarding of these projects, NWO is also setting an international precedent.

The original news is published on the NWO website.

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Prof. Sander Koole had his Inaugural address on May 12, 2017 at VU Amsterdam.

Information on the lecture can be found below,

Botox voor de ziel: Het belang van belichaamde emotieregulatie voor welzijn en gezondheid

Onderdeel Faculteit der Gedrags- en Bewegingswetenschappen

We nemen van oudsher aan dat psychologische problemen ‘tussen de oren’ zitten. Maar klopt dat eigenlijk wel? Sander Koole laat in zijn oratie zien dat ons lichaam een veel belangrijker rol speelt bij psychologische problemen dan je zou denken.

Vooral als we beter willen leren omgaan met onze emoties is aandacht voor het lichaam belangrijk. Bij veel emotionele problemen raken mensen bijvoorbeeld vervreemd van hun lichaam, zodat zij minder goed voor hun gezondheid zorgen. Verder kunnen lichamelijke interventies op vaak onverwachte manieren helpen om ‘geestelijke problemen’ aan te pakken. Zo zijn er aanwijzingen dat Botoxinjecties een rol kunnen spelen in het verlichten van depressie. Voor het verbeteren van onze geestelijke gezondheid is het dus aan te bevelen om meer aandacht te besteden aan ons lichaam.

*Original news is published on the VU website.

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NIAS-Lorentz Alexithymia Workshop!


People with high levels of alexithymia display notable difficulties in identifying and describing their emotional feelings (read more). The scientific study of alexithymia is nowadays a booming enterprise across multiple disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine.

AER lab members Dalya Samur and Prof. Sander Koole, together with Prof. Olivier Luminet and M.D. Michiko Kano, have organized a NIAS-Lorentz Workshop to bridge the interdisciplinary research in alexithymia, which was held between 1st -4th of May, 2017.

This was the first time in four decades since the construct was first suggested that researchers across the entire field gathered together in a single meeting. For this meeting, the participants came from 13 different countries: Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United State of America.

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Promotion for Jolanda Maas to Asst. Prof.

jolanda-maas-e1432889924929Jolanda Maas has been promoted to Assistant Professor (tenured). She is working at the Amsterdam Emotion Regulation lab since September 2015, and her research is on the emotion-regulatory benefits of nature.

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Chief Editor for C&E

pcemSander Koole and Klaus Rothermund will become the new Chief Editors of Cognition and Emotion (C&E), as of January 2017.

C&E is devoted to the study of emotion, especially to those aspects of emotion related to cognitive processes. The journal aims to bring together work on emotion undertaken by researchers in cognitive, social, clinical, and developmental psychology, psychophysiology, neuropsychology/neuroscience, and cognitive science.

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Paper published

imgresSynchrony in Psychotherapy: A Review and an Integrative Framework for the Therapeutic Alliance

Koole, S. L., & Tschacher, W. (2016). Synchrony in psychotherapy: A review and an integrative framework for understanding the therapeutic aliance. Frontiers in Psychology7, 862. (Full text)

During psychotherapy, patient and therapist tend to spontaneously synchronize their vocal pitch, bodily movements, and even their physiological processes. In the present article, we consider how this pervasive phenomenon may shed new light on the therapeutic relationship– or alliance– and its role within psychotherapy. We first review clinical research on the alliance and the multidisciplinary area of interpersonal synchrony. We then integrate both literatures in the Interpersonal Synchrony (In-Sync) model of psychotherapy. According to the model, the alliance is grounded in the coupling of patient and therapist’s brains. Because brains do not interact directly, movement synchrony may help to establish inter-brain coupling. Inter-brain coupling may provide patient and therapist with access to another’s internal states, which facilitates common understanding and emotional sharing. Over time, these interpersonal exchanges may improve patients’ emotion-regulatory capacities and related therapeutic outcomes. We discuss the empirical assessment of interpersonal synchrony and review preliminary research on synchrony in psychotherapy. Finally, we summarize our main conclusions and consider the broader implications of viewing psychotherapy as the product of two interacting brains.

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Media Appearance

npo_angerLotte Veenstra‘s research on anger management featured on Dutch national television: ‘Dus ik ben… boos’ at NPO2 with philosopher Stine Jensen.

Watch it here

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Visiting Researcher!

Logo_FavIcon_v2In Spring 2016, Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab will be hosting two Visiting Researchers.

Yuhei Urano is a Phd student at the University of Tokyo (Japan). He will be visiting us from April to June.

Prof. Dr. Veronika Brandstätter  from University of Zürich (Switzerland) will be visiting us in June/July.

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Excellent Dissertation prize

uni_trier_logoMonischa Chatterjee’s dissertation won an Award for Excellent Dissertations at the University of Trier. We would like to congratulate her!

You can find more information here.

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ERC Proof of Concept!

logo_ercThe European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Proof of Concept grant to Sander Koole for developing an anger management game for hand-held devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets). This new start-up will explore the market and examine the effects scientifically. The 18-month project will be held in collaboration with Prof. Heleen Riper. The research team will consist of a commercial manager, a programmer and a researcher. For general info, the press release is here.

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