Meet the team #1 Emese

Let’s introduce the team!

In our ‘Meet the team’ posts you will learn more about the NOFA lab members. Always wanted to know more about our projects, research interests, background, or hobbies? Keep reading!

What is your name? Emese Kroon

Can you tell something about yourself? I was born in the Netherlands and grew up in a relatively small village close to Amsterdam. I completed a bachelors degree in psychobiology and afterwards completed the research master psychology, both at the University of Amsterdam. During my bachelor and master I studied a variety of topics from cell biology to evolutionary psychology, but got more and more interested in addiction research. Although the research I did for the past years mostly centers around this one topic, I still prefer combining different types of research methods. That is also why I’m really glad the NOFA lab gives me the opportunity to combine neuroimaging techniques with classic measures of human behaviour and cognition.

What is your role at the NOFA lab? I’m a second year PhD student working on the Joint Study. A super interesting and extensive study in which we, in collaboration with the University of Texas Dallas (UTD), look into the effects of Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) on the brain and how cultural difference shape the effects of cannabis on our brain and behaviour.

What is your main research interest/topic? In my PhD project I focus on the effects of heavy cannabis use and CUD on the brain and behaviour. What makes that some heavy users cannabis users develop an addiction while others do not? I’m particularly interested in the role of cognitive control and the importance of context in the effects of cognitive control. Cognitive control is often found to be impaired in individuals suffering from substance use disorders, but the context specificity of this impairment is unclear.

Is there anything else we should know about you? Where to start! A little summary: my favourite colour is blue, I like penguins, I’m not a fan of biking in Dutch weather, I play korfbal (a very very Dutch sport), and live in Amsterdam.

Visiting Amsterdam? Try The Amsterdam Underground Tour

Have you heard of the Amsterdam Underground tour? Before it was a tourist hot spot, the city center of Amsterdam was embroiled in drugs and crime. To broaden your horizons and learn first-hand about this fairly recent history, you can take a tour of the city center guided by former addicts who survived on the streets. Each walk is different, and you will hear a personal story about addiction and survival. You can find more info here: https://www.amsterdamunderground.org/

Food For Thought: Social Processes in Addiction

In the NOFA lab, one of the topics we investigate is the role of social processes in addiction. In this ted talk, Johann Hari argues for the role of putting the social disconnection and isolation often seen in addiction at the forefront in order to offer a more compassionate and effective response to the people suffering with addictions.

What really causes addiction — to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions. He started to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do — and if there might be a better way. As he shares in this deeply personal talk, his questions took him around the world, and unearthed some surprising and hopeful ways of thinking about an age-old problem.