The role of spontaneous thought processes in the vulnerability for depression: An experimental psychological and (neuro)cognitive approach in clinical and at risk populations.

Prize: Other distinctionAcademic


Major Depressive Disorder is associated with abnormalities in spontaneous thought processes such as worrying, rumination and negative mind-wandering. Though these perseverative cognitive abnormalities are known to play an important role in depression, their content and mechanisms by which they affect the vulnerability for depression have gone largely unstudied. We propose to combine cognitive neuroscience with clinical psychology to study how different potent clinical techniques (i.e. preventive cognitive therapy, mindfulness and fantasizing) affect spontaneous thought processes and their neural correlates in individuals vulnerable for depression. This will advance our understanding of what is needed to alter depressive vulnerability.
Degree of recognitionLocal
Granting OrganisationsUniversity of Groningen, Faculty of Behavioral and Social Science


  • PhD fellowship
  • rumination
  • depression
  • mindfulness