Maartje Eijlander and Casper Hesp, postgraduate students from the University of Amsterdam, have both been awarded an NWO Research Talent grant to carry out PhD research. Both projects will be (partly) hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS).
Maartje Eijlander prepared her grant application at the IAS. Her aim is to deepen the general understanding of chronicity in depression by using a complex systems approach. In order to uncover how exactly the risk to depressive relapse increases with the number of depressive episodes a person experiences, she will investigate the integrated whole of emotional, cognitive, behavioural, physiological, and stress-related dynamics across the course of recurrent depression. By conducting fundamental research within a clinical setting, she pursues to provide empirically supported theory for understanding why and detecting when a person is likely to experience depressive relapse.
Casper Hesp studies the emergence of social life in the context of neurocognitive evolution, building on principles that combine formal information-theoretic concepts with dynamical systems theory. To further current neuroscientific accounts of social cognition, he plans to construct a computational ecology containing multiple organisms to simulate their co-evolution towards competitive and cooperative interactions.
NWO Research Talent is a responsive mode funding scheme, which offers talented and ambitious young researchers a platform to pursue a scientific career and carry out high-quality PhD research.