Ilaria Vergari, MSc

Ilaria is a neuropsychologist who completed her Master's degree at Leiden University in 2017. Afterwards, she completed one year of post-graduate internship at the Alzheimercentrum of VU University Medical Center (VUmc) in Amsterdam. At the same time, Ilaria worked as a student assistant for two European longitudinal projects - European Prevention of Alzheimer's Dementia Consortium (EPAD) and Models of Patient Engagement for Alzheimer's disease (MOPEAD), which aims to increase understanding on the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to facilitate earlier diagnosis of mild AD dementia and prodromal AD patients. Starting from September 2020, she will join the Focus on Emotions Lab as a research intern to collaborate on a project on empathy in autistic children. 


The Week Against Bullying: Carolien answers 10 questions about bullying and autism

September 21st, 2020

lonely child cropped

"The only thing that can help is to create a truly inclusive school climate in which everyone is welcome, even if you are different in some ways," says Carolien in an interview with the Dutch Autism Association (NVA) in the Week Against Bullying, September 21-25. Click here for the interview (in Dutch), and here for the other media apprearances in which Carolien, Evelien Broekhof, and Sheida Novin talk about bullying and autism. 


Carolien Appointed Full Professor at TU Twente

September 9th, 2020

Carolien UCL honorary

As of September 1st, Carolien serves as Full Professor at the Technical University of Twente, in combination with her position at Leiden University. She now holds a professorship in Social Interaction Technology at the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science, as a member of the Human Media Interaction group. She will be investigating the impact of the built environment on social inclusion, while using computer technology as a means of measurement. This appointment will enrich the research in our lab with new technical developments, and provide unique opportunities for collaborative research projects. Congratulations, Carolien!

Read more about her new professorship here.


Emotional competence as mediator in longitudinal study on children with and without Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)

August 20th, 2020

Screenshot 2020 08 20 at 23.31.58

Neeltje's publication is online, showing the (longitudinal) interrelations between emotional competence, communication problems, and externalizing problems in young adolescents with and without DLD (special issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health). Click here to read full text. 


Loose-Parts Play in the First School

July 24th, 2020

23.6.20 min loose parts playground2

The Loose Parts project was successfully completed in the first primary school on July 15th. The goal of this intervention is facilitating children's social interaction at the playground, and thus enhancing social inclusion during children' play time. The children were enthusiastic with the parts, and we also received good feedback from teachers. The primary school will continue further with the project on their own.


Recent & Upcoming Events

September 21st 22.20: Carolien in documentary on Elijah Delsink, a 17-year-old student with autism

NPO 2 logo 2014

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June 26th 14.00-15.30 Webinar on Sensors (Part II)

BOLD Cities

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June 18th 13.00-14.30: Webinar on Sensors

BOLD Cities

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Sensor technology in the research of social interaction

August 31st, 2020

children play 2

What are the recent developments in sensor technology, and how can we use these to study children's social interactions? On June 18 and 26, these issues were discussed in a webinar series by international experts.

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Back in the Office!

June 18th, 2020

FSW inside

On June 11th, Qi was the first from our lab to head back to the office since the lockdown. Qi's mission was to enter all children’s responses to the interview questions in the data file. 

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Welcome to our new PhD candidate Maedeh Nasri

June 9th, 2020

Maedeh Nasri

Starting from June 8th, Maedeh Nasri joins our lab as a PhD candidate. Her multidisciplinery project is within the Centre for BOLD Cities, as part of the NWO-funded "Breaking the cycle" project, combining Psychology, Computer Science, Government, and Architecture.

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Who are we?

FOE group 2019 crop

Our team is located at the department of Developmental Psychology of Leiden University in the Netherlands. We work in close collaboration with the Dutch Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child (NSDSK), the ENT department of the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), the Centre for Autism, the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), TU Delft, 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. 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.