Eveline Crone

Eveline Crone, Professor of Neurocognitive Developmental Psychology at Leiden University, has been awarded the 2017 Dr. Hendrik Muller Prize for Behavioural and Social Sciences by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is receiving the prize, a sum of EUR 25,000, for her entire oeuvre. 

Crone researches the development of the adolescent brain. As one of the first in the world, she has been systematically monitoring adolescents, their lifestyle and the neurological processes in their brains on a long-term basis.

Eveline Crone (born in 1975) discovered that not every part of the human brain develops simultaneously. During puberty, the parts of the brain that experience emotion develop more quickly than those parts that are important for control, which helps to explain unrestrained, high-risk and irresponsible adolescent behaviour. 

Crone’s innovative insights have enabled her to give direction to a totally new field of research. In Leiden, she set up the Brain and Development Research Center that investigates the brain processes of adolescents. For this purpose, she uses combinations of scientific methods, from functional MRI brain scans and heart rate measurements to psychological tests.

Crone’s approach is characterised by her view of adolescence not as a necessary evil, but rather as a useful development phase in which the brain learns to deal with a larger social environment. The insights obtained from the research of Eveline Crone can help to structure education and society more effectively with a view to the possibilities of young people.

About the laureate

Eveline Crone (1975) studied developmental psychology at the University of Amsterdam, where she was also awarded a doctorate. After a two-year research period at the University of California in Davis, she became a researcher at Leiden University, where in 2009 she was appointed Professor of Neurocognitive Developmental Psychology.

She participates in a major national ‘Gravitation programme’ relating to neuroimaging, is a member of the ERC Scientific Council and acts as a figurehead for Brains, Cognition and Behaviour, which is part of the Dutch National Research Agenda.

In 2015, Crone received a VICI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and in 2016 a prestigious Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council. In 2017, she was presented with the Academy Ammodo Award and received the NWO Spinoza Prize.

Eveline Crone was chair of The Young Academy and is now a member of the Academy and the Academia Europaea.