Ellen de Bruijn

Ellen de Bruijn
Leiden University | LEI · Institute of Psychology

PhD

About

111
Publications
16,192
Reads
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3,264
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2011 - June 2016
Leiden University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (111)
Article
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Background Healthy aging is accompanied by a decline in learning ability and memory capacity. One widely-studied method to improve learning outcome is by reducing the occurrence of errors during learning (errorless learning; EL). However, there is also evidence that committing errors during learning (trial-and-error learning; TEL) may benefit memor...
Article
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Performing in a social context can result in negative feelings when our actions harm another person, but it can also lead to positive feelings when observing an opponent fail. The extent to which individuals scoring high on psychopathic traits, often characterized as self-centered with reduced concern for others’ welfare, are sensitive to own and o...
Article
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Mistakes that affect others often are linked to increased feelings of responsibility and guilt. This especially holds for individuals high in obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS), who are characterized by inflated feelings of responsibility and a fear of causing harm to others. This event-related potential study investigated individual differences i...
Article
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Disturbances in social cognitive processes such as the ability to infer others' mental states importantly contribute to social and functional impairments in psychiatric disorders. Yet, despite established social, emotional, and cognitive problems, the role of social cognition in obsessive-compulsive disorder is largely overlooked. The current revie...
Article
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Our mistakes often have negative consequences for ourselves, but may also harm the people around us. Continuous monitoring of our performance is therefore crucial for both our own and others' well-being. Here, we investigated how modulations in responsibility for other's harm affects electrophysiological correlates of performance-monitoring, viz. t...
Article
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Learning from errors or negative feedback is crucial for adaptive behavior. FMRI studies have demonstrated enhanced anterior cingulate cortex activity for errors that were later corrected versus repeated errors even when a substantial delay between the error and the opportunity to correct was introduced. We aimed at identifying the electrophysiolog...
Article
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Errorless learning (EL) is an approach in which errors are eliminated or reduced as much as possible while learning of new information or skills. In contrast, during trial-and-error − or errorful − learning (TEL) errors are not reduced and are often even promoted. There is a complex and conflicting pattern of evidence whether EL or TEL may result i...
Article
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Aligning behavior in favor of group norms, i.e., social conformity, can help to successfully adapt to uncertain environments and may result in social approval. This may lead to enhanced feelings of belongingness and is found to be associated with reward-related activations in the brain. Individuals high on psychopathic traits violate group norms re...
Article
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Joint decision-making entails that you sometimes have to go along with the other's choice even though you disagree. In this situation, a resulting negative outcome may, however, elicit a feeling of satisfaction and an impulse to say "I told you so". Using fMRI, we investigated the neural correlates of this complex process comprised of both positive...
Preprint
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Testosterone may promote approach-related behaviors by modulating sensitivity to social threat. In humans, testosterone increases amygdala activation to angry facial expressions, specifically when threat approach is required. As both increased and decreased threat detection after testosterone administration have been reported, we aim to contribute...
Article
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Background: Oxytocin administration may increase attention to emotional information. We hypothesized that this augmented emotional processing might in turn lead to interference on concurrent cognitive tasks. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether oxytocin administration would lead to heightened emotional interference during a working memory...
Article
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Altered performance monitoring has been demonstrated after administration of different pharmacological compounds and in various clinical populations, such as excessive neurophysiological responses to mistakes in anxiety disorders. Here, a novel social pharmacological approach was applied to investigate whether oxytocin administration (24 IU) enhanc...
Article
Oxytocin reduces amygdala responses to threatening social stimuli in males and has been suggested to facilitate approach-related processing by either decreasing anxiety or intensifying salience. The current administration study tested whether oxytocin either reduces or enhances amygdala responses during threat approach in a placebo-controlled rando...
Article
Drug use is often associated with risky and unsafe behavior. However, the acute effects of cocaine and cannabis on performance monitoring processes have not been systematically investigated. The aim of the current study was to investigate how administration of these drugs alters performance monitoring processes, as reflected in the error-related ne...
Article
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Joint task performance is facilitated by sharing and integrating each other’s action representations. Research has shown that the amount of this so-called self-other integration depends on situational aspects related to the social context, including differences in the social relationship between co-acting individuals. There are indications that a c...
Article
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Rationale Long-term cannabis and cocaine use has been associated with impairments in reversal learning. However, how acute cannabis and cocaine administration affect reversal learning in humans is not known. Objective In this study, we aimed to establish the acute effects of administration of cannabis and cocaine on valence-dependent reversal learn...
Article
Schizophrenia is characterized by social deficits. Correctly monitoring own and others' performance is crucial for efficient social behavior. Deficits in monitoring own performance as reflected in reduced error-related negativity (rERN) amplitudes, have been demonstrated repeatedly in schizophrenia. A similar ERP component (observed ERN; oERN) is e...
Article
Many people with schizophrenia suffer from social impairments characterized by active social avoidance, which is related to social phobia common in schizophrenia, while motivational impairments can also result in passive social withdrawal. Although social avoidance is frequently reported in this population, this is the first study to directly compa...
Article
Substance abuse has often been associated with alterations in response inhibition in humans. Not much research has examined how the acute effects of drugs modify the neurophysiological correlates of response inhibition, or how these effects interact with individual variation in trait levels of impulsivity and novelty seeking. This study investigate...
Article
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BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that is highly characterized by social cognitive impairments. Most studies investigating these impairments focus on one specific social domain such as emotion recognition. However, in daily life, processing complex social situations relies on the combination of several social cognitive and affec...
Article
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Experimental manipulation of serotonin (5-HT) availability has been shown to modulate social behavior. For instance, serotonin depletion increased the rejection rates of unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG), whereas a single dose of the serotonin reuptake inhibitor (citalopram) decreased rejection rates. These effects were observed immediately...
Article
Testosterone enhances amygdala reactions to social threat, but it remains unclear whether this neuroendocrine mechanism is relevant for understanding its dominance-enhancing properties; namely, whether testosterone biases the human amygdala toward threat approach. This pharmacological functional magnetic-resonance imaging study shows that testoster...
Article
One of the most well-known findings in human oxytocin research is its beneficial effect on "mind-reading", i.e., inferring others' mental states just from the eye region in the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET). Previous studies have partially confirmed these improvements and have further shown that they depend both on baseline social-emotio...
Article
The neuropeptide oxytocin has been associated with promoting various social behaviors in humans including cooperation and trust. Surprisingly little, however, is known about the possible role of oxytocin in processes required for social interactive behavior such as joint task performance. The current study investigated whether intranasal administra...
Article
Deficits in a wide variety of social cognitive processes are well established in schizophrenia. However, research focusing on actual interacting individuals is surprisingly scarce. Problems in low-level processes such as self-other integration may importantly underlie often-reported higher-level deficits. The current study aimed at measuring possib...
Article
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Objectives Apart from mood episodes, many cognitive deficits are present in bipolar disorder (BD). Performance monitoring is an important aspect of executive functioning and involves continuous monitoring of behavior and making subsequent changes when an error is made. On a neurophysiological level, the error-related negativity (ERN), an event-rela...
Article
In depression, approach deficits often impair everyday social functioning, but empirical findings on performance-based measurements of approach-avoidance behavior remain conflicting. To investigate action tendencies in patients with depression, the current study used an explicit version of the Approach-Avoidance Task. In this task, participants res...
Article
Knowing how commonly used drugs affect performance monitoring is of great importance, because drug use is often associated with compromised behavioral control. Two of the most commonly used recreational drugs in the western world, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") and ethanol (alcohol), are also often used in combination. The er...
Article
Since cholinergic neurotransmission plays a major role in cognition, stimulation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor may be a target for cognitive enhancement. While nicotine improves performance on several cognitive domains, results of individual studies vary. A possible explanation for these findings is that the effect of nicotine administrat...
Article
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External feedback provides essential information for successful learning. Feedback is especially important for learning in early childhood, as toddlers strongly rely on external signals to determine the consequences of their actions. In adults, many electrophysiological studies have elucidated feedback processes using a neural marker called the fee...
Article
Full-text available
Since cholinergic neurotransmission plays a major role in cognition, stimulation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor may be a target for cognitive enhancement. While nicotine improves performance on several cognitive domains, results of individual studies vary. A possible explanation for these findings is that the effect of nicotine administrat...
Poster
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It is well known that schizophrenia is characterized by a wide variety of social cognitive deficits. Typically these deficits in social cognition are believed to account for a wide variety of delusions and hallucinations. Problems in low-level social processes such as self-other integration may underlie these higher-level deficits. Research focusin...
Article
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Psychopathy is often linked to disturbed reinforcement-guided adaptation of behavior in both clinical and non-clinical populations. Recent work suggests that these disturbances might be due to a deficit in actively using information to guide changes in behavior. However, how much information is actually used to guide behavior is difficult to observ...
Article
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Schizophrenia patients are characterized by severe social impairments. Recently, social cognition has been put forward as an important mediator in schizophrenia between the often-reported neurocognitive deficits and functional outcome and is thus an important target for treatments. Nicotine has been reported to improve neurocognitive processes in s...
Article
Optimal behavior depends on the ability to assess the predictive value of events and to adjust behavior accordingly. Outcome processing can be studied by using its electrophysiological signatures-that is, the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and the P300. A prominent reinforcement-learning model predicts an FRN on negative prediction errors, as we...
Article
Cognitive symptoms have increasingly been recognized as an important target in the development of future treatment strategies in schizophrenia. The nicotinergic neurotransmission system has been suggested as a potentially interesting treatment target for these cognitive deficits. However, previous research yielded conflicting results, which may be...
Article
Although 'irrational' decision-making has been linked to depression, the contribution of biases in information processing to these findings remains unknown. To investigate the impact of cognitive biases and aberrant processing of facial emotions on social decision-making, we manipulated both context-related and emotion-related information in a modi...
Article
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Offenders with psychopathy have often committed crimes violating social norms, which may suggest a biased moral reasoning in psychopathy. Yet, as findings on utilitarian decisions remain conflicting, the current study investigated different aspects of fairness considerations in offenders with psychopathy, offenders without psychopathy and healthy i...
Article
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Background: Psychopathy is a severe personality disorder that has been linked to impaired behavioural adaptation during reinforcement learning. Recent electrophysiological studies have suggested that psychopathy is related to impairments in intentionally using information relevant for adapting behaviour, whereas these impairments remain absent for...
Article
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Different theoretical accounts have attempted to integrate anterior cingulate cortex involvement in relation to conflict detection, error-likelihood predictions, and error monitoring. Regarding the latter, event-related potential studies have identified the feedback-related negativity (FRN) component in relation to processing feedback which indicat...
Article
Oxytocin attenuates responses to stress and threat (e.g., by fostering social approach in animals), but direct investigations of whether the hormone also facilitates approach-related social behaviors in humans are lacking. To assess approach-avoidance tendencies, we had participants respond to images of happy and angry faces with direct or averted...
Article
The 17q21.31 microdeletion syndrome with its characteristic features including developmental delay, moderate intellectual disability, facial dysmorphisms, and anomalies of the brain and multiple organ systems was recently described. As to its behavioral profile, scarce data from clinical observations have suggested a remarkably amiable, friendly di...
Article
Objective: The amplitude and latency of the P300 may be associated by variations in dopaminergic genes. The current study was conducted to determine whether functional variants of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) gene were associated with P300 amplitude and latency in an auditory oddball task. Methods:...
Article
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Recent studies have shown that while psychopathy and non-psychopathic antisociality overlap, they differ in the extent to which cognitive impairments are present. Specifically, psychopathy has been related to abnormal allocation of attention, a function that is traditionally believed to be indexed by event-related potentials (ERPs) of the P3-family...
Article
Disturbed internal performance monitoring has been repeatedly demonstrated in schizophrenia. Along with internal monitoring, efficiently processing external task-relevant performance feedback that goes unnoticed by the internal monitoring system is crucial for adequate performance. It is unknown whether external monitoring is disturbed in schizophr...
Conference Paper
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Humans are experts in cooperating in a smooth and proactive manner. Action and intention understanding are critical components of efficient joint action. In the context of the EU Integrated Project JAST [16] we have developed an anthropomorphic robot endowed with these cognitive capacities. This project and respective robot (ARoS) is the focus of t...
Article
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The degree to which people construe their perceived self as independent from or interdependent with their social environment can vary. We tested whether the current degree of social self-construal predicts the degree to which individuals integrate others into their self-concept. Participants worked through tasks that drew attention to either person...
Article
Psychopathy (PP) is associated with marked abnormalities in social emotional behaviour, such as high instrumental aggression (IA). A crucial but largely ignored question is whether automatic social approach-avoidance tendencies may underlie this condition. We tested whether offenders with PP show lack of automatic avoidance tendencies, usually acti...
Article
Full-text available
Oxytocin (OXT) has been implicated in prosocial behaviors such as trust and generosity. Yet, these effects appear to strongly depend on characteristics of the situation and the people with whom we interact or make decisions. Norms and rules can facilitate and guide our actions, with fairness being a particularly salient and fundamental norm. The cu...
Article
Although recent studies focusing on major depressive disorder (MDD) suggest altered social decision-making, studies using the Ultimatum Game (UG) in patients with severe, clinical MDD do not exist. Moreover, all aforementioned studies so far focused on responder behavior and thus fairness considerations; to this date, no one investigated social int...
Article
Full-text available
Fairness considerations are a strong motivational force in social decision-making. Here, we investigated the role of intentionality in response to unfair offers in the Ultimatum Game by manipulating both proposers' degree of control over the selection of offers and the context pertaining to the outcomes of offers proposers can choose from. As a res...
Article
Full-text available
Electroencephalogram studies have identified an error-related event-related potential (ERP) component known as the error-related negativity or ERN, thought to result from the detection of a loss of reward during performance monitoring. However, as own errors are always associated with a loss of reward, disentangling whether the ERN is error- or rew...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: The error-related negativity (ERN) is a negative event-related potential that occurs immediately after an erroneous response and is thought to reflect human performance monitoring. Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) administration in healthy volunteers has been linked to impaired performance monitoring in behavioral studies, but to date...
Article
Full-text available
Efficient flexible behavior requires continuous monitoring of performance for possible deviations from the intended goal of an action. This also holds for joint action. When jointly performing a task, one needs to not only know the other’s goals and intentions but also generate behavioral adjustments that are dependent on the other person’s task. P...
Article
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In social contexts, errors have a special significance and often bear consequences for others. Thinking about others and drawing social inferences in interpersonal games engages the mentalizing system. We used neuroimaging to investigate the differences in brain activations between errors that affect only agents themselves and errors that additiona...
Article
Full-text available
Psychopathy is a severe personality disorder often leading to violent and disruptive antisocial behavior. Efficient and proper social behavior crucially relies on monitoring of one's own as well as others' actions, but the link between antisocial behavior in psychopathy and action monitoring in a social context has never been investigated. Event-re...