PhD Candidate Gravitation Project New Science of Mental Disorders

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 28 Aug 2021

The department of psychology of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), is partner in a large national gravitation grant on the new science of mental disorders (lead by Maastricht University). In the workpackage on cognitive control other collaborating partners are from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG) and Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).

The general perspective taken in the gravitation project is that mental illnesses can be described as dynamic and complex networks of symptoms that interact with one another over time. We will focus on (1) the estimation of complex and dynamic networks of individual patients, which can change over time, (2) disorder-transcending network-based interventions tailored at the individual, and (3) in-depth fundamental studies into transdiagnostic behavioural, cognitive, neurocognitive and interpersonal processes that can drive connectivity between symptoms.

What are you going to do?

In this PhD project you will investigate the role of cognitive control (CC) in the development and maintenance of common mental disorders from a network perspective: how do differences in CC relate to network dynamics in people experiencing symptoms of common mental disorders (e.g., does it predict general spreading of activation of symptoms, or specifically the relationships between certain symptoms but not of others, etc.). We intend to assess CC in relation to both reward and punishment sensitivity, and will investigate whether different aspects of CC moderate the development of common mental disorders. We will assess symptoms of common mental disorders using intense measurements (Ecological Momentary Assessment, EMA). Using an individual network approach, we hope to identify individual symptom networks, which may help to co-develop an intervention with the client.

This project will be supervised by  Prof. Reinout Wiers and Dr. Ilya Veer (UvA psychology) and there is a larger steering group involved including Prof. Prof. de Jong (RUG), Prof. Franken and Dr. Cousijn (EUR) and Prof. Linden (UM).  You will be hosted at the department of psychology of the UvA.

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