In my PhD I've been studying role of the social environment and social-cognitive development in mental health risk, mostly in a community sample of adolescents as part of the #SO Connect project (Dutch website) where I've been focussing on how personal and social identity interact with cognitions, behaviours and the social environment to determine mental health outcomes, using sociometric, behavioural and dynamic-systems methodologies alongside self-report psychometrics. I've also been investigating how these processes differ in autistic and trans people, and how those differences might arise. My hope is that examining these social processes from a cognitive neuroscience perspective will enable us to develop stronger theoretical frameworks that can integrate across bioreductionist, (computational) cognitive, and social levels of analysis.
I also enjoy my many collaborative relationships which allow me to work on projects investigating such diverse topics as the neuropsychology of political conflict, the neuroendocrinology of adolescent self-other distinction, and transgender mental and physical health.
I plan to complete my postdoctoral studies at the Einstein lab in the University of Toronto, where I will investigate the contributions of various biological and biopsychosocial processes related to sex and/or gender to the healthy ageing of brains, using a gender-diverse sample and a mixture of qualitative, behavioural, biomedical and (principally) multimodal neuroimaging methods to begin to disentangle these effects. We hope to be able to shed some light on the role of social and biological correlates of gender in cognitive ageing, dementia, and emotional brain-health in older adults, as well as opportunities for improvements in trans-specific healthcare, especially in older adults.