Michelle Achterberg

Michelle Achterberg
Erasmus University Rotterdam | EUR · Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

PhD

About

24
Publications
4,087
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579
Citations
Introduction
I am a developmental neuroscientist with an interest in social emotional development. In my studies, I focus on the underlying mechanisms of social emotion regulation in childhood. The brain is prone to signal for socially relevant information and the network of social saliency is already present in childhood, indicating that this might be a core social mechanism. My studies additionally show that social rejection is often followed by behavioral aggression, and regulation of these retaliatio
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - January 2020
Leiden University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
This study investigated behavioral and neural correlates underlying social feedback processing and subsequent aggressive behaviors in childhood in two age cohorts (test sample: n=509/n=385 and replication sample: n=354/n=195, 7-9 years old). Using a previously validated Social Network Aggression Task (Achterberg et al., 2020), we showed that negati...
Article
Prior studies have indicated that prosocial behavior might be a protective factor for developing internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems. However, little research has been conducted on within-person changes of prosocial behavior and behavioral problems over time. With random-intercept cross-lagged panel models (RI-CLPMs), the current st...
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Youth of today grow up in a digital social world but the effects on well-being and brain development remain debated. This study tracked longitudinal associations between structural brain development, social media use and mental well-being. The study demonstrated two pathways of heterogeneity in brain development. First, adolescents who used social...
Preprint
Full-text available
Youth of today grow up in a digital social world but the effects on well-being and brain development remain debated. This study tracked longitudinal associations between structural brain development, social media use and mental well-being. The study demonstrated two pathways of heterogeneity in brain development. First, adolescents who used social...
Article
Full-text available
In this review, we describe the development of prosocial behavior in adolescence as a critical inflection period for social adjustment. Experimental research using prosocial giving tasks demonstrates that adolescents differentiate more between recipients and contexts, suggesting increasing ingroup-outgroup differentiation during adolescence. We als...
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How neural correlates of self-concept are influenced by environmental versus genetic factors is currently not fully understood. We investigated heritability estimates of behavioral and neural correlates of self-concept in middle childhood since this phase is an important time window for taking on new social roles in academic and social contexts. To...
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Prior research has implicated the medial and lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in processing evaluations from the perspective of self (self-traits) and evaluations from others (peer feedback), suggesting that these areas form a neural substrate that serves an intertwined function in monitoring self in relation to others. To test this possibility, we...
Preprint
Prior studies have indicated that prosocial behavior might be a protective factor for developing behavioral problems. The current study analyzed longitudinal associations between prosocial behavior and behavioral problems in two twin cohorts (98% Western European): in early childhood (age M=4.77, 52% girls, N=440) and middle childhood (age M=7.94,...
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Dealing with a COVID-19 lockdown may have negative effects on children, but at the same time might facilitate parent–child bonding. Perceived stress may influence the direction of these effects. Using a longitudinal twin design, we investigated how perceived stress influenced lockdown induced changes in wellbeing of parents and children. A total of...
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Developing social skills is essential to succeed in social relations. Two important social constructs in middle childhood, prosocial behavior and reactive aggression, are often regarded as separate behaviors with opposing developmental outcomes. However, there is increasing evidence for the co-occurrence of prosociality and aggression, as both migh...
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Responding emotionally to a movie, video game, Instagram post, or a social robot is quite a common experience. Whereas the experience felt is real, the mediated encounter or message often is fabricated, just fiction, and involves artificial nonexistent characters. An intriguing question is thus “why does media use feel so real and how are emotions...
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The transition period between early childhood and late adolescence is characterized by pronounced changes in social competence, or the capacity for flexible social adaptation. Here, we propose that two processes, self-control and prosociality, are crucial for social adaptation following social evaluation. We present a neurobehavioral model showing...
Article
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Prosocial behavior and empathy are important aspects of developing social relations in childhood. Prior studies showed protracted structural development of social brain regions associated with prosocial behavior. However, it remains unknown how structure of the social brain is influenced by genetic or environmental factors, and whether overlapping...
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Regulating aggression after social feedback is an important prerequisite for developing and maintaining social relations, especially in the current times with larger emphasis on online social evaluation. Studies in adults highlighted the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in regulating aggression. Little is known about the developme...
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The current study provides an overview of quantity and quality of MRI data in a large developmental twin sample (N = 512, aged 7–9), and investigated to what extent scan quantity and quality were influenced by genetic and environmental factors. This was examined in a fixed scan protocol consisting of two functional MRI tasks, high resolution struct...
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Experiencing and observing social exclusion and inclusion, as well as prosocial behavior, are important aspects of social relationships in childhood. However, it is currently unknown to what extent these processes and their neural correlates differ in heritability. We investigated influences of genetics and environment on experiencing social exclus...
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Connectivity between limbic/subcortical and prefrontal-cortical brain regions develops considerably across childhood, but less is known about the heritability of these networks at this age. We tested the heritability of limbic/subcortical-cortical and limbic/subcortical-subcortical functional brain connectivity in 7- to 9-year-old twins (N=220), fo...
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Middle childhood marks an important phase for developing and maintaining social relations. At the same time, this phase is marked by a gap in our knowledge of the genetic and environmental influences on brain responses to social feedback and their relation to behavioral aggression. In a large developmental twin sample (509 7- to 9-year-olds), the h...
Article
Observing social exclusion can be a distressing experience for children that can be followed by concerns for self-inclusion (self-concerns), as well as prosocial behavior to help others in distress (other-concerns). Indeed, behavioral studies have shown that observed social exclusion elicits prosocial compensating behavior in children, but motivati...
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Background: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has frequently been associated with changes in resting-state functional connectivity, and decreased white matter (WM) integrity. In the current study, we investigated functional connectivity within Default Mode and frontal control resting-state networks (RSNs) in children with and without...
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Being accepted or rejected by peers is highly salient for developing social relations in childhood. We investigated the behavioral and neural correlates of social feedback and subsequent aggression in 7-10-year-old children, using the Social Network Aggression Task (SNAT). Participants viewed pictures of peers that gave positive, neutral or negativ...
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Unlabelled: The ability to delay gratification increases considerably across development. Here, we test the hypothesis that this impulse control capacity is driven by increased maturation of frontostriatal circuitry using a fiber-tracking approach combined with longitudinal imaging. In total, 192 healthy volunteers between 8 and 26 years underwent...
Article
Full-text available
Negative social feedback often generates aggressive feelings and behavior. Prior studies have investigated the neural basis of negative social feedback, but the underlying neural mechanisms of aggression regulation following negative social feedback remain largely undiscovered. In the current study participants viewed pictures of peers with feedbac...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
The general aim of the Leiden Consortium on Individual Development (L-CID) is to dissect the reason why not all children are equally responsive to variations in the social environment. Large-scale experimental-longitudinal interventions of parent and peer behavior are carried out, allowing for testing of which child characteristics shape the effect of (manipulated) environmental factors. L-CID is part of the National Consortium on Individual Development (CID) in the Netherlands, which aims to understand and predict how the interplay of child characteristics and environmental factors results in individual differences in the development of social competence and behavioral control of the child.