Consortium on Individual Development


Newly appointed assistant professor Dienke Bos

Currently setting up projects related to the development of individual differences in behavioural control

Dienke Bos, assistant professor UMCU, work package 1

About ten years ago I joined NICHE, the Neuroimaging in Childhood Lab of Prof. Sarah Durston, as an intern. My first project was a study in which we manually segmented the basal ganglia in about 100 children. It meant colouring brain scans millimeter by millimeter for a few months, but nevertheless I got hooked on neuroscience.

As a research assistant and later as a PhD student I worked on different projects that ranged from investigating the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cognitive control in children with ADHD to characterizing structural and functional connectivity in children with autism or ADHD using neuroimaging methods such as DTI and resting-state fMRI.

After I defended my thesis, I had the opportunity to stay with NICHE and join the Consortium on Individual Development as a post-doc. I wanted to shift my focus from the intrinsic anatomy and functioning of the brain to the (a)typical development of behavioural control and its neural correlates. However, even though I still felt Utrecht was the right place for me, I was also aware that I needed a change of scientific scenery for a while. During the first year of my post-doc, made possible by CID, I spent six months as a visiting fellow at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology in New York. Six months turned into almost three years, where I travelled back and forth between Utrecht and New York to work on different projects related to behavioural control and emotion regulation in children with and without developmental disorders.

Now that I am back in Utrecht full-time, I am really looking forward to contribute to CID as an Assistant Professor. I am currently setting up projects related to the development of individual differences in behavioural control. Keeping in touch with my background in psychiatry, I am particularly interested in identifying individual patterns of strengths and weaknesses in behavioural control and the environmental factors and child characteristics that influence this development. The CID cohort provides a unique opportunity to investigate this, so exciting times are ahead!