Janna van Belle

Curriculum Vitae
I am a third-year PhD student at the NICHE lab, based at the department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UMC Utrecht.
My interest in research was sparked during two years I spent in Cambridge (UK) at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (MRC-CBU), after completing my BA at the University of Utrecht. In Cambridge I worked on several research projects under supervision of dr. Tom Manly. One of these projects, on which I wrote my MSc thesis, investigated the relation between alertness, dual task load and spatial attention. This got me interested in the neurobiological background of attention and the role of alertness in cognitive control and attention.
When I’m not busy scanning, I like to go sailing, skiing or visit friends and family in the UK.

Current Research Projects
My PhD project is aimed at investigating the Neural Correlates of Cognitive Subtypes in ADHD. To this purpose I am currently screening a large number of children, with and without ADHD, on their behavioural performance on a set of different computer tasks. Specifically, these are tasks developed to measure 1) cognitive control (the ‘Pokenogo’ task), 2) expectancy violation (the Cheesetask’) and 3) reward sensitivity (the ‘Spongers’ task). Based on the performance on these computer tasks I will then make subgroups, and collect fMRI data and genetic data of the children in these subgoups.
I hope to find neurobiological markers that are related to specific behaviour of children with ADHD, rather than to the he broad clinical definition of ADHD.
In a wider perspective, I hope to gain insight in the development and neural background of cognitive control.
I am specifically interested in the development of neural networks, and how this development is related to both normal behaviour and psychpathology .