prof. dr. S. (Sarah) Durston

prof. dr. S. (Sarah) Durston

Full Professor
prof. dr. S. (Sarah) Durston

Research Programs




Sarah Durston obtained her PhD at the Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neuroscience in 2003, working with Professors van Engeland, Buitelaar and Hilleke Hulshoff Pol. In her thesis, she combined structural and functional neuroimaging techniques and she spent two formative years working with Professor BJ Casey at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology in New York. When she returned, she successfully defended her PhD and started a faculty position at the Department of Child- and Adolescent Psychiatry. Here, she started her lab, the NICHE Neuroimaging lab, and continued to collaborate actively with Professor Casey in New York. In that first year, she managed to obtain a VENI grant from NWO, providing essential funding for her work. The lab worked on developmental disorders. The first PhD-students were Martijn Mulder (currently post-doc at the UvA), Marieke Langen (who stayed with the lab as a faculty member after her PhD defence and only recently left) and Tim Ziermans (currently post-doc at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm), working respectively on ADHD, autism and adolescents risk for psychosis. In 2006, Sarah obtained an NWO VIDI grant and new PhD-students joined, Patrick de Zeeuw (currently post-doc with the lab, and simultaneously training as a clinical psychologist), Janna van Belle (completing her PhD) and Sanne de Wit (completing her PhD). The lab was further strengthened by the addition of several RAs to work on the various projects.  With the award of a VICI-grant, as well as several other collaborative grants, the lab grew again and currently includes approximately 15 people (RAs, PhD-students, post-docs, as well as Bob Oranje who is a faculty member and vice-head of the lab). Our work continues to focus on how (genetic and environmental) risks for developmental disorders translate to brain function, structure and connectivity and how this in turn – ultimately- translates to behavioural development. 

Research line

Brain development in developmental disorders

Most recent key publications

1: De Zeeuw P, Weusten J, Van Dijk S, Van Belle J, Durston S: Deficits in cognitive control, timing and reward processing are dissociable in ADHD. PlosOne, in press
2: De Zeeuw P, Mandl RM, Hulshoff Pol HE, Van Engeland H, Durston S: Decreased fronto-striatal structural connectivity in ADHD. Human Brain Mapping, 2012;33(8):1941-1951
3: Durston S, van Belle J, de Zeeuw P: Differentiating frontostriatal and fronto-cerebellar circuits in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Biological Psychiatry 2011;69(12):1178-1184
4: Langen M, Schnack HG, Nederveen H, Bos D, Lahuis BE, van Engeland H, Durston S: Changes in developmental trajectories of striatum in autism. Biol Psychiatry, 2009;66(4):327-333
5: Durston S, Fossella JA, Casey BJ, Hulshoff Pol HE, Galvan, A, Schnack HG, Steenhuis MP, Minderaa RB, Buitelaar JK, Kahn RS, Van Engeland H: Differential effects of DRD4 and DAT1 genotype on fronto-striatal gray matter volumes in a sample of subjects with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, their unaffected siblings and controls. Molecular Psychiatry 2005;10(7):678-685

Side Activities

Chair, Stichting Bewustzijn en Wetenschap, January 2020 ->

Fellow, University of Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Study, January 2021 - December 2022

Member of Scientific Advisory Board to the Essentia Foundation, 2020 ->

Member of European Network on Hyperactivity Disorders, 2003 ->

Fellowship and Awards

NWO Gravitation grant ‘Individual development’; co-applicant (2012)
EU FP7 Translational interventions in Compulsive Syndromes (TACTICS); co-applicant (2012)
NWO VICI grant ‘ADHD: from behaviour to biology’ (2011)
NWO VIDI grant ‘Profiling ADHD: genes, brain and behaviour’ (2006)
NWO VENI grant ‘Genetic risk for ADHD in brain function’ (2003)

Research Output (166)

Normative mammillary body volumes:From the neonatal period to young adult

Vann Seralynne D, Zachiu Cornel, Meys Karlijn M E, Ambrosino Sara, Durston Sarah, de Vries Linda S, Groenendaal Floris, Lequin Maarten H Dec 2022, In: Neuroimage. Reports. 2 , p. 1-7

Lost in explanation:internal conflicts in the discourse of ADHD psychoeducation

van Langen Myrte J.M., Szőke Rebeka, Rijkelijkhuizen Dominique N.J., Durston Sarah, van Hulst Branko M. 8 Nov 2022, In: BMC Psychiatry. 22

Cerebellar Atypicalities in Autism?

Laidi Charles, Floris Dorothea L., Tillmann Julian, Elandaloussi Yannis, Zabihi Mariam, Charman Tony, Wolfers Thomas, Durston Sarah, Moessnang Carolin, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Ecker Christine, Loth Eva, Murphy Declan, Baron-Cohen Simon, Buitelaar Jan K., Marquand Andre F., Beckmann Christian F., Frouin Vincent, Leboyer Marion, Duchesnay Edouard, Coupé Pierrick, Houenou Josselin, 15 Oct 2022, In: Biological Psychiatry. 92 , p. 674-682 9 p.

Memantine as treatment for compulsivity in child and adolescent psychiatry:Descriptive findings from an incompleted randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Niemeyer Larissa, Mechler Konstantin, Dittmann Ralf W., Banaschewski Tobias, Buitelaar Jan, Durston Sarah, Häge Alexander Oct 2022, In: Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications. 29

Qualitative differences in the spatiotemporal brain states supporting configural face processing emerge in adolescence in autism

Haartsen Rianne, Mason Luke, Garces Pilar, Gui Anna, Charman Tony, Tillmann Julian, Johnson Mark H., Buitelaar Jan K., Loth Eva, Murphy Declan, Jones Emily J.H., Ahmad Jumana, Ambrosino Sara, Banashewski Tobias, Baron-Cohen Simon, Bast Nico, Baumeister Sarah, Beckmann Christian, Bölte Sven, Bourgeron Thomas, Bours Carsten, Brandeis Daniel, Cornelissen Ineke, Crawley Daisy, Davidson Cate, Dell’ Acqua Flavio, Durston Sarah, Ecker Christine, Ellis Claire, Faulkner Jessica, Hayward Hannah, Hipp Joerg, Holt Rosemary, Lai Meng Chuan, Leblond Claire, Meyer-Lindenberg Andreas, Moessnang Carolin, Oakley Bethany, O'Dwyer Larry, Persico Antonio, Rausch Annika, Sabet Jessica, San Jose Caceres Antonia, Simonoff Emily, Tost Heike, Rhein Daniel von, Oct 2022, In: Cortex. 155 , p. 13-29 17 p.

Stratifying the autistic phenotype using electrophysiological indices of social perception

Mason Luke, Moessnang Carolin, Chatham Christopher, Ham Lindsay, Tillmann Julian, Dumas Guillaume, Ellis Claire, Leblond Claire S, Cliquet Freddy, Bourgeron Thomas, Beckmann Christian, Charman Tony, Oakley Beth, Banaschewski Tobias, Meyer-Lindenberg Andreas, Baron-Cohen Simon, Bölte Sven, Buitelaar Jan K, Durston Sarah, Loth Eva, Oranje Bob, Persico Antonio, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Ecker Christine, Johnson Mark H, Murphy Declan, Jones Emily J H 17 Aug 2022, In: Science translational medicine. 14

Evaluation of data imputation strategies in complex, deeply-phenotyped data sets:the case of the EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project

Llera A, Brammer M, Oakley B, Tillmann J, Zabihi M, Amelink J S, Mei T, Charman T, Ecker C, Dell'Acqua F, Banaschewski T, Moessnang C, Baron-Cohen S, Holt R, Durston S, Murphy D, Loth E, Buitelaar J K, Floris D L, Beckmann C F 16 Aug 2022, In: BMC Medical Research Methodology. 22

Memantine treatment does not affect compulsive behavior or frontostriatal connectivity in an adolescent rat model for quinpirole-induced compulsive checking behavior

Straathof Milou, Blezer Erwin L.A., Smeele Christel E., van Heijningen Caroline, van der Toorn Annette, Buitelaar Jan, Glennon Jeffrey, Otte Willem M., Dijkhuizen Rick, Buitelaar Jan, de Ruiter Saskia, Naaijen Jilly, Akkermans Sophie, Mennes Maarten, Zwiers Marcel, Ilbegi Shahrzad, Hennissen Leonie, Glennon Jeffrey, van de Vondervoort Ilse, Kapusta Katarzyna, Bielczyk Natalia, Amiri Houshang, Havenith Martha, Franke Barbara, Poelmans Geert, Bralten Janita, Heskes Tom, Sokolova Elena, Groot Perry, Williams Steven, Murphy Declan, Lythgoe David, Bruchhage Muriel, Dud Iulia, Voinescu Bogdan, Dittmann Ralf, Banaschewski Tobias, Brandeis Daniel, Mechler Konstantin, Berg Ruth, Wolf Isabella, Dijkhuizen Rick, Blezer Erwin L.A., Straathof Milou, Mol Wouter, Otte Willem, Durston Sarah, Mensen Vincent, Oranje Bob, Mandl René, Aug 2022, In: Psychopharmacology. 239 , p. 2457-2470 14 p.

Resting state EEG power spectrum and functional connectivity in autism:a cross-sectional analysis

Garcés Pilar, Baumeister Sarah, Mason Luke, Chatham Christopher H, Holiga Stefan, Dukart Juergen, Jones Emily J H, Banaschewski Tobias, Baron-Cohen Simon, Bölte Sven, Buitelaar Jan K, Durston Sarah, Oranje Bob, Persico Antonio M, Beckmann Christian F, Bougeron Thomas, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Ecker Christine, Moessnang Carolin, Charman Tony, Tillmann Julian, Murphy Declan G M, Johnson Mark, Loth Eva, Brandeis Daniel, Hipp Joerg F, 18 May 2022, In: Molecular Autism. 13 , p. 1-16

Neurobiological Correlates of Change in Adaptive Behavior in Autism

Pretzsch Charlotte M, Schäfer Tim, Lombardo Michael V, Warrier Varun, Mann Caroline, Bletsch Anke, Chatham Chris H, Floris Dorothea L, Tillmann Julian, Yousaf Afsheen, Jones Emily, Charman Tony, Ambrosino Sara, Bourgeron Thomas, Dumas Guillaume, Loth Eva, Oakley Bethany, Buitelaar Jan K, Cliquet Freddy, Leblond Claire S, Baron-Cohen Simon, Beckmann Christian F, Banaschewski Tobias, Durston Sarah, Freitag Christine M, Murphy Declan G M, Ecker Christine, 25 Mar 2022, In: American Journal of Psychiatry. 179 , p. 336-349 14 p.

All research output

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