View this email in your browser
Sanne Booij - back at the UCP and the iLab
Sanne Booij has returned to the iLab/UCP. Since September 1, she has started her new job as senior researcher. She will be working on the development of an entrance module for new patients at the UCP, which entails a transdiagnostic, multidimensional assessment of factors hypothesized to relate to diagnosis, prognosis and/or treatment success. Building a cohort study, the final aim is to develop tools that facilitate treatment selection, and improve patient's outcomes.
Machine Learning:
By Laura Bringmann:
As machine learning becomes increasingly popular it is good to know what it actually is and how to use it (who knows maybe your favorite model is some form of machine learning all along)!
Therefore we will follow a machine learning course: The course starts on September 28th!
We will have a slack platform and meet once a month. The first meeting is the 16th of October at 14:00 at will be via a link (google meet).
If you are interested in joining please email me,
Recently published
Time to get personal?
By Laura Bringmann
It has been a long and winding road, but the many analysts paper, also known as the confetti paper (see the figure below) is out now!
Many analysts? You may wonder. Yes, 12 different teams (with on average 2 persons per team) from all over the world (also from our own Ilab) analyzed one ESM (experience sampling method) data set of one patient using a method of their own choice to discover which symptoms would be hypothetically good items for the therapist and patient to focus on. And the results you can see below. If you look at the black circles around the symptoms you can see the targets they chose. Yep, some did not select any target (team 6) and some selected a lot (team 9). But the overlap was rather low. What does this teach us? That there is no gold standard yet and different analyses can lead to widely different results!
Time to get personal? Sure! But be aware of the research degrees of freedom, also in analyzing ESM data of patients! For more information see the open-access article: 

Level and timing of physical activity in depression

By Olga Minaeva
Depressive symptoms are known to be associated with reduced physical activity, however, it is still unclear which aspects of activity are important in depression. In our study we were specifically interested in two aspects: level of physical activity (how active a person is during the day), and timing of activity (at what time of the day a person is the most active). We investigated these both aspects in one of the biggest samples with objective measurements of physical activity. We used 14 days of actigraphy data obtained from participants of the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) and compared physical activity of depressed to non-depressed participants. We found, as expected, that depressed participants had lower levels of physical activity during the day. Interestingly, we also found that the daily activity rhythm was more dampened in depressed individuals. Moreover, depressed individuals were becoming the most active approximately 30 minutes later during the day than non-depressed individuals. This effect was even more visible in those with a diagnosis for depression in the past month compared to those diagnosed in the past six months. Our findings clarify how both level and timing of activity are associated to depression. These insights should be considered when designing studies focusing on individual (n=1) experiments that reflect clinical practice more realistically.
Minaeva, O., Booij, S. H., Lamers, F., Antypa, N., Schoevers, R. A., Wichers, M., & Riese, H. (2020). Level and timing of physical activity during normal daily life in depressed and non-depressed individuals. Translational Psychiatry10(1), 1-11.

Bridging the gap between complexity science and clinical practice by formalizing idiographic theories: a computational model of functional analysis
By Julian Burger 
In this paper, we introduce a formal modelling approach for idiographic systems. Instead of estimating such systems from ESM data, we propose to derive systems directly from theoretical case conceptualizations that are established during the early stages of psychotherapy. This entails translating the case conceptualization into a system of mathematical equations. The result is a formal theory, which can subsequently be used to simulate data, and investigate how the patient responds to interventions. We illustrate this approach by establishing a formal system for a fictional patient with panic disorder. Using this example, we showed differential effects of treatment approaches, such as exposure and cognitive interventions.
Formal modelling can help bringing complexity science closer to clinical practice, since it allows to make use of the case conceptualizations that practitioners establish together with their patients. In doing so, idiographic models can be grounded in clinical considerations, and interventions can be tested without having to collect large amounts of ESM data.

Burger J, van der Veen DC, Robinaugh DJ, Quax R, Riese H, Schoevers RA, Epskamp S. Bridging the gap between complexity science and clinical practice by formalizing idiographic theories: a computational model of functional analysis. BMC Medicine 2020: 18(1): 99. doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01558-1.
New employees
Larisa Morosan- The effects of social experiences on the mental health problems in at-risk youths: a macro and micro level investigation
Hello everybody! My name is Larisa Morosan and I started my postdoc at the ICPE on the 1st of September. After obtaining the bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Bucharest, Romania, I did my master’s degree in clinical and affective psychology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. I continued at the University of Geneva with a Ph.D., focusing on the social cognitive processes associated with conduct problems and antisocial behaviors during adolescence.
Recently, I received from the Swiss National Science Foundation a 18-months fellowship grant to conduct research in the Professor Marieke Wichers’ group. The main objective of my project is to disentangle the role played by social behaviors and social experiences in the course of psychological difficulties, in an at-risk group of youths. I aim to focus on the relationships between social factors, such as the quality of the relationships with parents and peers, measured at the macro level, and the daily social behaviors and experiences. Additionally, I plan to investigate if the dynamics between social experiences, negative and positive mental states could predict the change or the persistence of psychological problems.
I look forward to meeting you all and to our collaboration!

My name is Marie Stadel and I just completed the Research Master of Behavioural and Social Sciences, specialising in both, clinical psychology and statistics/methodology. I will start my PhD research at the RUG supervised by dr. Laura Bringmann, dr. Marijtje van Duijn and dr. Gert Stulp in November. The goals of my project are to (1) investigate personalised context assessment methods within ESM (e.g. capturing social relationships and interactions using personal social network data collection), (2) compare different ways to derive personalised context-specific feedback from ESM data, and (3) develop and disseminate materials that facilitate the use of personalised ESM in clinical practice. Since the practical application of my research is very important to me, I aim at a close collaboration with clinicians and patients at all project stages.
My name is Anna Langener and since September 2020 I'm a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. In my PhD project I'm investigating how methods from different disciplines can be most beneficially combined to measure the social environment and understand their impact on mental well-being. The project is under the interdisciplinary supervision of Martin Kas, Gert Stulp, and Laura Bringmann. My background is in Psychology and Economics; After completing my bachelor’s in Business Psychology, I undertook a research master’s in psychology at the University of Amsterdam with a major in psychological methods. One year into the master’s I decided to further expand my knowledge in another field. Thus, I started an Economics master at the Vrije University of Amsterdam with a major in development economics and finished both programs in August 2020. I'm happy that my PhD project gives me the opportunity to fulfill my passion for interdisciplinary research and to combine research about methodology and content.
Interesting projects
StayFine - Bas Kooiman
My name is Bas Kooiman and I have been working as a PhD student (RUG, GMW) on the StayFine project since September 2019, under supervision of Maaike Nauta (prof. dr.), Yvonne Stikkelbroek (dr.), Claudi Bockting (prof. dr.) and Casper Alberts (prof. dr.).
StayFine is an ambitious project set up by GGZ Oost Brabant, Accare, Amsterdam UMC and University of Groningen, where we aim to follow (3 years) 254 adolescents (13-21) who are currently in remission of an anxiety and/or mood disorder (see Currently, about 3 out of 5 youth/adolescents who recover from such a disorder, relapse within 3 years. Goal of the StayFine app is to strengthen adolescents against this relapse, using monitoring (EMA that creates graph as feedback) and a personalized (a.o. using the EMA data) array of modules with information and exercises designed to help against depression or anxiety relapse, with guidance from an expert patient counsellor. We are researching whether it works, currently amid the participant recruitment phase.
My background is primarily behavioural research: I finished a Bachelor in Psychology, Cognitive Science and Physiology with a minor in Statistics at University College Roosevelt, and a Masters in Behavioural Research (with additional Bachelor Psychology courses) at Radboud University. I am most interested in research that mixes technology and emotion, so my project has been great so far. I hope to learn a lot from you all and make a significant contribution to the field.
Interesting courses
To be announced when: ESM Data Analysis course Maastricht University by Wolfgang Viechtbaue
Spring 2021: REAL ESM/EMA workshop KU Leuven (see site for updated information regarding Coronavirus)
August 2021: Modeling the dynamics of intensive longitudinal data, Utrecht University (this course is cancelled for 2020, but expected to be given again in 2021)
Online courses:
- The course starts on September 28th!
- Learn R through Datacamp (send an e-mail to for login details)
- ARIMA and VAR analysis by Elske Bos (send an e-mail to if you are interested but have no access to the google drive)
Upcoming symposia, conferences
Recent publications
Bastiaansen JA, Kunkels YK, Blaauw, FJ, Boker SM, Ceulemans E, Chen M, Chow SM, de Jonge P, Emerencia AC, Epskamp S, Fisher AJ, Hamaker EL, Kupper P, Lutz W, Meyer MJ, Moulder R, Oravecz Z, Riese R, Rubel J, Ryan O, Servaas MN, Sjobeck G, Snippe E, Trull TJ, Tschacher W, van der Veen DC, Wichers M, Wood PK, Woods WC, Wright AGC, Albers CJ, Bringmann LF. Time to get personal? The impact of researchers choices on the selection of treatment targets using the experience sampling methodology. J Psychosomatic Res: doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110211
Minaeva O, Booij SH, Lamers F, Antypa N, Schoevers RA, Wichers M, Riese H. Level and timing of physical activity during normal daily life in depressed and non-depressed individuals. Transl Psychiatry. 2020 Jul 30;10(1):259. doi: 10.1038/s41398-020-00952-w.
Elmer T, Geschwind N, Peeters F, Wichers M, Bringmann L.J Getting stuck in social isolation: solitude inertia and depressive symptoms. Abnorm Psychol. 2020 Jul 16. doi: 10.1037/abn0000588
Geraets CNW, Snippe E, van Beilen M, Pot-Kolder RMCA, Wichers M, van der Gaag M, Veling W. Virtual reality based cognitive behavioral therapy for paranoia: Effects on mental states and the dynamics among them. Schizophr Res. 2020 Jun 8:S0920-9964(20)30301-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2020.05.047.
Haslbeck JMB, Bringmann LF, Waldorp LJ. A tutorial on estimating time-varying vector autoregressive models. Multivariate Behav Res 2020: Apr 23: 1-30. doi: 10.1080/00273171.2020.1743630324066
Burger J, van der Veen DC, Robinaugh DJ, Quax R, Riese H, Schoevers RA, Epskamp S. Bridging the gap between complexity science and clinical practice by formalizing idiographic theories: a computational model of functional analysis. BMC Medicine 2020: 18(1): 99. doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01558-1.
Knapen SE, Li P, Riemersma-van der Lek RF, Verkooijen S, Boks MPM, Schoevers RA, Scheer FAJL, Hu K. Fractal biomarker of activity in patients with bipolar disorder. Psychological Medicine 2020: Apr 1: 1-8. doi: 10.1017/S0033291720000331. 
Schoevers RA, van Borkulo CD, Lamers F, Servaas MN, Bastiaansen JA, Beekman ATF, van Hemert AM, Smit JH, Penninx BWJH, Riese H. Affect fluctuations examined with ecological momentary assessment in patients with current or remitted depression and anxiety disorders. Psychological Medicine 2020: Apr 1: 1-10. doi: 10.1017/S0033291720000689. 
iLab website 
iLab staff
Harriëtte Riese: (head of iLab)
Gerda Bloem: (equipment and room reservations)
Klaas Wardenaar: (statistical advice, newsletters)
Marij Zuidersma: (newsletters and iLab website)
Robert Schoevers: (head of UCP) 

Unsubscribe: send an e-mail to