NWO replication grant awarded to Nynke van der Laan

Published on August 8th 2017 – Nynke van der Laan is one of nine people who received a replication grant from NWO. With the call ‘Replication Studies’ NWO wishes to contribute to the transparency of research and to the quality and completeness of reporting of results. Nynke is going to replicate a major study of science around the neurobiological mechanisms of self-control with her EUR 90,000 scholarship.

In this Science publication (Hare et al., 2009), for the first time, food choices were shown to be based on a brain signal in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) which encodes the value of the food – for successful self-control, modulation of this value by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dIPFC) is required. This Science publication has been cited over 1,000 times in less than 8 years, and has had a huge impact on theories and policies regarding human decision-making.

With her scholarship, Nynke, in collaboration with Utrecht University and Stanford University, will replicate this study within the Amsterdam Center for Health Communication with the state-of-the-art MRI techniques of the Spinoza Center for NeuroImaging. The project will run from January 2018 to March 2019.

Hare TA, Camerer CF, Rangel A. (2009). Self-control in decision making involves modulation of the vmPFC valuation system. Science; 324(5927):646-8.

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