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Molen, M.W. van der

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Maurits van der Molen, born in Hilversum, the Netherlands, in 1950. Ph.D. from VU University Amsterdam. Professor of Biological Developmental Psychology at the University of Amsterdam.

Fellow (1 September 2011 - 31 January 2012)

A Scaffolding Framework for Brain-Behaviour Interactions During Child Development. 

The work at NIAS aims at providing an integrative review of the development of action control vis-à-vis the maturing brain. We, that is Dr Jennings and I, will focus on two fundamental questions:

  • what are the brain maturational constraints for the development of action control; and
  • how are developmental outcomes optimised by scaffolding?

Brain mechanisms involved in action control show a protracted maturational course while neural mechanisms involved in motivation and affect seem to mature more rapidly. This uneven brain growth is likely to challenge the developing child, being driven by appetitive systems more than by control systems.

We will develop a scaffolding concept of action control that accounts for the brain’s adaptation to deal with cognitive challenges in the presence of motivational and affective intrusion.

Gunther Moor, B., Crone, E.A., & van der Molen, M.W. (2010). “The heartbrake of social rejection: heart rate deceleration in response to unexpected peer rejection”. Psychological Science, 21 (9), 1326-1333.

Huizinga, M., Dolan, C. V., & Van der Molen, M. W. (2006). “Age-related change in executive function: Developmental trends and a latent variable analysis”. Neuropsychologia, 44, 2017-2036.

Jennings, J.R., Van Der Molen, M.W. (2005). “Preparation for speeded action as a psychophysiological concept”. Psychological Bulletin 131 (3), 434-459.



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