Protocol paperThe Healthy Brain Study will result in a unique and accessible resource for the scientific community and its public and private partners. Data are collected through cognitive, affective, behavioral, and physiological testing, neuroimaging, bio-sampling, questionnaires, ecological momentary assessment, and real-world assessment using wearable devices. Read more
Roshan Cools receives ERC advanced grant3 May 2022
"In my ERC project, we will study how the brain computes when effortful control is required and when it is not, and how we decide when to prioritize which behavioral strategy. In this context we will focus on behavioural control in the context of stressors".read more
Erno Hermans receives NWO Vici grant21 March 2022
Hermans uses a dataset from the Healthy Brain Study. Hermans: ‘In this study we follow a thousand people for a year. We measure how people react physiologically to stressors in everyday life with wearables, such as smartwatches. What do they experience and how does that change their mental...read more
André Marquand receives ERC consolidator grant
André Marquand is conducting research into the use of biomarkers — specific substances that can relay information about a person’s medical state. They have brought about a revolution in diagnosis and personalised treatment in many areas of medicine. Psychiatry is clearly behind in that regard. Mental disorders are still mostly diagnosed on the basis of symptoms simply because useful biomarkers are not available. This is because the means to analyse mental disorders at all imaginable levels — from neurobiology to behaviour — are still lacking.
Towards precision medicine in psychiatry
Marquand: “I want to develop a new toolbox that can be used to predict the start and the outcome of mental disorders on the basis of biomarkers. Biomarkers that signal the variation in the structure and organisation of the brain, based on the brain scans of over 40,000 people. I have developed a ‘brain chart technology’ which can function as a platform for both the shared and distinct characteristics of the mental disorder for individual people. A platform and a model that not only simulates different clinical brain states, but which can also test and model potential interventions.”
The innovative approach of Marquand, who is associated with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, could have far-reaching consequences. He uses depression and bipolar disorders to illustrate the approach he envisions. “For these disorders, we want to examine whether we can predict the development towards resilience or risk. It will bring the application of precision medicine within the reach of psychiatry. It will not only provide us with a better understanding of mental disorders, but it will also make early, personalised interventions and preventive treatments possible.”
In this ERC-funded project, we aim to use neuroimaging data from the Healthy Brain Study to measure various aspects of brain structure and function at the level of the individual. In addition, we plan to acquire smartphone-based digital phenotyping data to measure moment-to-moment behavioural activity. The goal of the project is to develop analytical tools to integrate these complementary sources of information and to predict functioning at the level of the individual.
The Healthy Brain Study resource will also be used for citizen science. Different forms of citizen science exist. Projects can be led by experts, community-led or co-created with different aims and levels of participation. HBS participants and other citizens generate research topics and questions to be answered with the HBS resource. In traditional designs, scientists test hypotheses that are often based on previous findings within their research domain or their own intuitions. However, people living in or with specific conditions (i.e., being in their thirties and going through key life events) may have additional insight on top of existing expert-knowledge. These insights are uncovered in the citizen science platform. The essence of the platform is to leverage collective intelligence from a large group of participants versus a smaller number of experts. This can reveal topics and research questions that have a significant influence on people’s behavior in the real world and their health status, which experts may have left untouched. By giving citizens a voice in scientific research, it can contribute considerably to the valorization of research results.
A citizen science platform is used to involve participants as well as other citizens in generating research topics and questions that can be investigated with the Healthy Brain Study resource. We ‘crowdsource’ lists of research topics and/or research questions that participants and citizens think are useful for examining with the Healthy Brain Study resource. At the same time, they also rate the importance of the crowd-generated suggestions by other participants and citizens resulting in an overview that reflects the relevance and prioritization of their overall input.
Take a look at Crowdience - Healthy Brain Study (ikonderzoekmee.nl)