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Individual differences in physical and mental health

Biological Psychology

The research and education programme at the department of Biological Psychology revolves around the genetic and biological basis of individual differences in mental and physical health, brain structure and function, and normal and abnormal behaviour. Our research is longitudinal and often pertains to children, adolescents, adults and elderly that come from twin families.

Netherlands Twin Register
The department maintains the Netherlands Twin Register which was established in 1987. The NTR has developed into an important resource for research in (behavioural) genetics. The NTR collects data from twin-families (twins, sibs, parents, spouses, offspring). More than 80.000 young twins and multiples have been registered at birth and are followed throughout their development and over 40.000 adults take part in longitudinal genetic studies. In the NTR-Biobank project biological material (DNA, RNA, cell lines serum, plasma, urine) is collected in over 10.000 participants. The database is widely used for psychological, genetic and medical research. Researchers using NTR data focus on  the interplay of genes and environment on the development of structure and function of the brain, cognitive abilities (and cognitive aging), personality, stress reactivity, behavioural problems, psychiatric disorders, life style behaviors, and health and well-being.


The department of Biological Psychology teaches multiple courses in the Bachelor and Minor Psychology using approaches from behavior and molecular genetics, genetic epidemiology, psychophysiology and neuroscience. More about our Education


Research at the department of Biological Psychology is focused on the analysis of genetic and biological causes of individual differences in behaviour and health and well-being. More about our Research

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