Mariëtte Huizinga

Methodological consultant


Mariëtte Huizinga is Associate Professor of Educational Neuroscience at the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Director of Education of the Bachelor Program for Education students.


I am trained as a developmental psychologist, with a focus on experimental (neuro-)psychology. In 1999 I completed my MSc in Developmental (Neuro-)Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, and in 2006 I received my PhD with a dissertation entitled “Fractionation of executive function: a developmental approach”. I’ve held my current position as Associate Professor since 2012.

Areas of expertise

Developmental (neuro-)psychology, specifically the development of executive functions, self- and emotion-regulation, cognitive flexibility, among others.


The main focus of my research is on the development of executive functions, between childhood and young-adulthood. Executive functions are brain processes allowing someone to show goal-directed behavior, by flexibly adjusting to the changing circumstances in the environment. In doing so, we are, for example, able to show up on time, suppress outbursts for little reason, plan homework, or come up with alternative solutions. Together with Dr. Diana Smidts, I developed the Dutch adaptation of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) for children between ages 5 and 18. In addition, we co-authored a Dutch book on the development of executive function for the general audience: Gedrag in uitvoering. My research interests include self- and emotion regulation, peer influence, working memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibition, complex task performance, strategy application, risk-taking behavior, social development - in relation to school performance.

Selected publications

Vander Heyden, K.M., Huizinga, M., Raijmakers, M.E.J. & Jolles, J. (2017). Development

     of children’s ability to represent another person’s spatial perspective. Journal of Experimental

     Child Psychology 153: 57-73.

Vander Heyden, K.M., Huizinga, M., & Jolles, J.J. (2017). Effects of a Classroom

     Intervention with Spatial Play Materials on Children’s Object and Viewer Transformation

     Abilities. Developmental Psychology 53(2): 290-305.

Baumgartner, S.E., Lemmens, J., Weeda, W.D., & Huizinga, M. (2016). Measuring media

     multitasking: development of a short measure for media multitasking in adolescents. Journal

     of Media Psychology 19: 72-100. doi: 10.1080/15213269.2014.885843.

Plukaard, S.C, Huizinga, M., Krabbendam, L., & Jolles, J. (2015). Cognitive flexibility in

     healthy students is affected by fatigue: An experimental study. Learning and Individual

     Differences 38: 18-25.

Huizinga, M., Smidts, D.P. & Ridderinkhof, K.R. (2014). Changing minds: Cognitive

     flexibility in the classroom. Perspectives on Language and Literacy 40(2): 31-35.


Additional information