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My name is Marie-José van Tol. I’m trained as a neuropsychologist and cognitive neuroscientist and study the neurocognitive basis of affective abnormalities occuring in psychiatric disorders. I use functional MRI, cognitive and behavioral testing, and psychophysiological measures including pupillometry to understand what causes one individual to suffer from psychiatric problems repeatedly and for long periods of time, while another individual seems resilient to massive disruptions of normal mood and behavior. For understanding critical mechanisms of vulnerability for recurring and enduring affective disturbances, I have a preference for intervention studies using non-pharmacological techniques. Current treatment trials involve interventions with cognitive therapy, behavioral activation, mindfulness, non-invasive brain stimulation, and complex skill training (including language and music).

I prefer to work interdisciplinary, because combining techniques and knowledge from different fields is in my opinion necessary to move forward in understanding the complex and multifactorial basis of psychiatric disorders (including major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia) and psychiatric phenomena (including anhedonia, apathy, rumination, emotional dysregulation, and suicide).  I collaborate with, and learn from, many disciplines including clinical psychology, epidemiology, radiology, artificial intelligence, psychiatry, cognitive psychology, and applied linguistics.

I work at the Cognitive Neuroscience Center of the Department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems, University Medical Center Groningen. In 2016 I was one of the founding members of the Young Academy Groningen of the University of Groningen. Since 2019 I am a member of the Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), of which I’m currently the chair.