Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory

Positive Developmental Psychopathology

The group focuses on ‘positive developmental psychopathology’ applied to early onset neurodevelopmental disorders, especially attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and its overlap with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ‘Developmental psychopathology’ studies the underpinnings of psychopathology in the context of normal psychological development. ‘Positive developmental psychopathology’ expands this to take into account links with positive psychological functioning.  Specific focus areas:

1. The genetic, environmental and neurobiological underpinnings of neurodevelopmental disorders, using twin, family, molecular genetic and neuroimaging research. Our research has shown that a) ADHD and ASD (traits) run in families and are highly heritable, b) ADHD is linked to developmentally-sensitive alterations in the dorsal striatum (caudate, putamen), c) ADHD and ASD share behavioural and genetic underpinnings, d) attentional problems form a linking pin between ADHD and ASD, but the behavioural, cognitive and sensory correlates of attentional problems partly diverge between the two disorders.

2. Mindfulness training as a novel intervention for youth with ADHD and their parents, using a randomised-controlled trial design. Parents are looking for non-pharmacological interventions for ADHD, which this research promises to provide. We study the effectiveness, and (epi)genetic, cognitive and familial mechanisms underlying mindfulness training, as well as predictors of treatment success to facilitate individually-tailored intervention.

3. Neurodevelopmental disorders in the context of positive psychology.
As one of the first internationally, we studied the aetiology of just the opposite of ADHD (exceptionally good attention and impulse control), with the aim to learn more about the mechanisms underlying clinical ADHD. The above mindfulness research also examines effects of mindfulness training on positive mental health (e.g. well-being and quality of life) rather than just reduction of symptoms.

Name: Dr. C.U. Greven
Telephone: 024-3611757

Postal address:

Department of Cognitive Neuroscience
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
P.O. Box 9101 / HP 205
6500 HB Nijmegen
The Netherlands

  • MindChamp: Mindfulness Training for Children with ADHD and Mindful Parenting. This is a randomized-controlled trial examining mindfulness as an intervention for youth with ADHD, compared to care-as-usual, examining underlying family, cognitive and (epi)genetic mechanisms. The project is funded by a Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Training Network grant (MiND) (2015-2019, total amount €3.9 million; for MindChamp: €255k).
  • MindChamp 2.0: This is a subpart of the MindChamp project focusing on mental well-being of parents of children with ADHD receiving mindful parenting training. The grant is funded by the Netherlands Foundation for Mental Health (2017-2018 €49k).
  • Collaborative links with NeuroIMAGE: a Netherlands-based ADHD case-control sample of around 800 siblings.
  • Collaborative links with the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS): a large longitudinal UK population-based study of monozygotic and dizygotic twins.
Key publications
  1. Greven, C.U., Merwood, A. van der Meer J. Haworth, C.M.A., Rommelse, N.N.J., & Buitelaar, J.K. (2016). The opposite end of the ADHD continuum: Genetic and environmental aetiologies of extremely low ADHD traits. JournalofChildPsychologyandPsychiatry, 57, 523-531. [IF 7.14]
  2. Visser, J., Greven, C.U., Rommelse, N.N.J., & Buitelaar, J.K. (2016). Autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in early childhood: A review of unique and shared characteristics and developmental antecedents, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 65, 229-263. [IF 10.50]
  3. Greven, C.U.*, Bralten, J.*, Mennes, M., O’Dwyer, L., van Hulzen, K.J.E., Rommelse, N.N.J., Schweren L.J.S., Hoekstra, P.J., Hartman, C.A., Heslenfeld, D., Oosterlaan, J., Faraone, S.V., Franke, B., Zwiers, M.P., Arias-Vasquez, A., & Buitelaar, J.K. (2015). Developmentally stable whole brain volume reductions and developmentally sensitive caudate and putamen volume alterations in participants with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and their unaffected siblings. JAMAPsychiatry, 72, 490-499. [IF 14.44]
  4. Greven, C.U., Rijsdisjk, F.V., Asherson, P., & Plomin, R. (2012). A longitudinal twin study of associations between ADHD symptoms and reading. JournalofChildPsychologyandPsychiatry, 53, 234-242. [IF 7.14; ranked 2nd within ‘Psychology, Developmental’]
  5. Groenman, A.P., Greven, C.U., van Donkelaar M.M.J., Schellekens, A., van Hulzen, K.J.E., Rommelse, N.N.J., Hartman, C.A., Hoekstra, P.J., Luman, M., Franke, B., Faraone, S.V., Oosterlaan, J., & Buitelaar, J.K. (2016). Dopamine and serotonin genetic risk scores predicting substance and nicotine use in attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. Addiction Biology, 21, 915-923. [IF 5.57]



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Theme 3:
Plasticity and Memory

Research Group
Positive developmental psychopathology

Principal Investigator
Corina Greven

Group members:

PhD students:
Nienke Siebelink
Mirelle Bakker
Marleen ter Avest
Gigi van de Loo
Dr Janne Visser (PhD awarded in 2017)
Dr Pierre Herpers (PhD awarded in 2016)
Dr Janita Bralten (PhD awarded in 2015)
Dr Annabeth Groenman (PhD awarded in 2015)

Research assistant:

Noor de Waal

MSc students:
Froukje Molenkamp
Lisanne Boerboom (MSc awarded in 2017)
Melissa Kruitwagen (MSc awarded in 2017)

Update JAN 18 EL