Prof. dr. ir. Johan Frijns

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Professor Johan Frijns a physicist and ENT-surgeon ar the department of Otorhinolaryngology, Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). His main research direction is otology and auditory physics with special emphasis on cochlear implantation. 

"My aspiration is to translate the results of fundamental research (e.g., computational modeling) into clinically applicable methods and techniques (such as speech processing strategies or electrode designs)." 

Business As Usual

April 14th, 2020

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Despite the coronavirus outbreak, our weekly research meetings continue online. This week the meeting was led by Tirza, who presented on missing data and the benefits of using multiple imputation to minimize biases. 


Autism Awareness Week

March 27th, 2020

entry to school

Although many real-time activities for the World Autism Awareness Week (March 28 to April 5) are now canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, online activities and news continue. Besides awareness, the Autism Awareness Week also aims at increasing understanding and acceptance. Autism is often associated with 'socially inappropriate' behaviors and less motivation for prosocial actions. But is that picture correct? Now all schools are closed. Yet, when schools reopen, what about equal opportunity for autistic children in mainstream education? In this news item , Carolien talks about prosocial behaviors and the need for social contacts in autistic children. And in this blog article, Carolien, Dr. Sarah Giest, and Legal Advisor Pim Deul reflect on school inclusion and the 2014 Dutch Appropriate Education Act for autistic pupils.


Loose parts at the school playground

March 5th, 2020

Loose parts play Feb2020

On March 3rd, Adva, Anne, Laura, Maud and Liam launched a special project to increase playfulness of children at school playgrounds. With the instruction of our project advisor Martin van Rooijen (University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht), this project is based on loose-parts play, which aims to provide children with increased opportunities for creative play and positive social interactions. Children showed spontaneous enthusiasm for the loose parts, such as wheels, baskets and wooden boards, as soon as encountering them at the playground.


Emotions and psychosocial development in children with Developmental Language Disorder

March 3rd, 2020

Neeltje thesis cover picture

On March 4th, we host a symposium on the psychosocial development of children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). The program features international experts on the topic. In the afternoon, Neeltje defends her PhD thesis on the emotions and psychosocial development in children with DLD.

On average, two children in each class have difficulties with their first language, due to DLD. These children cannot fully follow conversations around them, increasing their risk for psychosocial problems. Yet, the severity of their language problems does not tell the whole story. "What counts is what children with DLD miss out on in their daily social lives, because of these language problems," Neeltje states.

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Recent & Upcoming Events

April 2nd: BNNVARA podcast “Echte Oogappels"


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March 13th: National Autism Congress (postponed - 19/03/2021)

nationaal autisme congres

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Neeltje's feature on VHZ magazine and Leidsch Dagblad


Neeltje was recently featured in the local newspaper Leidsch Dagblad and the VHZ online magazine for professionals on her research on children with Developmental Language Disorder and their psychosocial problems. Click here and here to check it out!

Emotion awareness decreases internalizing symptoms in children with Developmental Language Disorder

March 30th, 2020

mental health brain puzzle

Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) often experience more internalizing symptoms, such as social anxiety. However, very little is known about the factors that protect children with DLD from developing such symptoms.

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Neeltje successfully defended her PhD thesis

March 5th, 2020

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On March 4th, Neetje defended her PhD dissertation on emotions and psychosocial development in children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD).

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Who are we?

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Our team is located at the department of Developmental Psychology of Leiden University in the Netherlands. We work in close collaboration with the ENT department of the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), Governance, Inter-PSY Groningen, TU Delft Architecture, and University of Twente. Our group is dedicated to examining the emotional development of children and adolescents of all walks of life. We have a strong focus on the functionality of emotions, and its impact on children's social development on the one hand; and on social inclusion and appreciating diversity on the other hand. Besides typically developing children and adolescents, we are interested in the development of those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, with autism spectrum disorders, or with specific language impairments.

On this site we regularly post news items about new publications, events, and so on. You can also read more about our ongoing projects, read about and download questionnaires we have developed, see an overview of our publications per topic, or read about opportunities for students to join our team.