Projects

There is increasing evidence that psychological factors, such as stress or placebo effects, influence the quality of life, disease outcomes, and effects of medical treatments in both healthy populations and somatic conditions. Our overarching goal is to understand and make optimal use of psychoneurobiological mechanisms that underlie health and chronic conditions. To this end, we combine innovative insights from different disciplines (e.g., psychology, medicine, biology, genetics, communication) in testing psychoneurobiological mechanisms of symptom perception, stress responsiveness, and adjustment to or progression of chronic disease, as well as in developing and implementing disease-generic personalized psychological or psychobiological interventions for healthy and patient populations (e.g., through e-health). Examples of several important research projects are shown below. Click here for an overview of all projects within the Health and Medical Neuropsychology unit of Leiden University.

Topics by category

TOPIC: Persistent physical symptoms
TOPIC: Persistent physical symptoms

Persistent somatic symptoms are long term symptoms that lack a clear medical explanation. These symptoms have a high prevalence where most people know…

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Proj

TOPIC: Placebo Effects
TOPIC: Placebo Effects

The effects of many treatments are determined, to a significant degree, by factors other than the medicine or treatment itself. For example, placebo e…

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Proj

TOPIC: Psychological Factors in Itch and Pain
TOPIC: Psychological Factors in Itch and Pain

Since itch and pain can be very burdensome, especially when individuals suffer from (either of) these symptoms chronically, it is important to know th…

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Proj

TOPIC: Psychopharmacology in Health and Medical Psychology
TOPIC: Psychopharmacology in Health and Medical Psychology

In this research line, the role pharmacological agents and neurochemcial processes play in behavior and cognition is examined with a particular focus…

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Proj

TOPIC: Self-Management in Chronic Diseases
TOPIC: Self-Management in Chronic Diseases

Having a chronic somatic condition can result in a variety of impairments in patients’ daily lives, including not only physical complaints such as p…

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Proj

TOPIC: Stigmatization in Patients with Chronic Health Conditions
TOPIC: Stigmatization in Patients with Chronic Health Conditions

Perceived stigmatisation causes significant distress in patients and is related to impairments in mental and physical health. Despite this, research o…

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Proj

TOPIC: Stress and Stress-Related Disorders
TOPIC: Stress and Stress-Related Disorders

The precise psychobiological mechanisms leading to chronic physiological stress responses have not been sufficiently explained, although stress is a m…

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Proj

TOPIC: The Placebo and Nocebo Effects of Communication
TOPIC: The Placebo and Nocebo Effects of Communication

Creating better insight into which communication can influence patient outcomes can help to improve care. Our ultimate ambition is to improve patients…

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Proj

TOPIC: Healthy lifestyle: Nudging and self-regulation
TOPIC: Healthy lifestyle: Nudging and self-regulation

We are all aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. However, at the same time we also experience many difficulties when we are trying to change…

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Proj

COMMUNICATE HEAL-TH
COMMUNICATE HEAL-TH

A Virtual Reality training tool for optimizing expectancy effects in patient-provider interaction. We aim to create an innovative e-learning and virt…

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Proj

Pharmacological conditioning
Pharmacological conditioning

The major aim is to examine the potential of learning the body to produce a similar physiological (autonomic, neuroendocrine, or immune) and physical…

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Proj

Psychophysiological responses to stress and stress management
Psychophysiological responses to stress and stress management

The major aim is to determine the psychophysiological responses to stress and stress-management interventions and to examine the role of stress and st…

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Proj

e-Coach: Tailored cognitive-behavioral e-Health care for patients with chronic somatic conditions
e-Coach: Tailored cognitive-behavioral e-Health care for patients with chronic somatic conditions

The major aim is to develop, evaluate, and implement disease-generic cognitive-behavioral interventions through the internet in order to optimize tail…

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Proj

Placebo Stories
Placebo Stories

To what extent do your thoughts and experiences affect your health? What is the impact of the placebo effect on medical treatments, for example for pa…

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Proj

Attentional processing of itch and pain
Attentional processing of itch and pain

This project is aimed at 1) elucidating the role of attention in itch and pain, including orientation, and attentional disengagement (i.e., directing…

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Proj

The role of expectancies and avoidance learning in the maintenance of somatic symptoms
The role of expectancies and avoidance learning in the maintenance of somatic symptoms

Somatic symptoms, such as pain, itch, and fatigue have been shown to have a bidirectional relationship with mental symptoms. Although acute somatic sy…

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Proj

We all BENEFIT: The Ecosystem for Healthy Living
We all BENEFIT: The Ecosystem for Healthy Living

The modification of risk factors and related health behaviors lies at the very core of adequate cardiovascular risk management, yet evidence shows tha…

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Proj