prof. dr. C. (Chantal) Kemner

prof. dr. C. (Chantal) Kemner

Full Professor
prof. dr. C. (Chantal) Kemner

Research Programs




Chantal Kemner studied Biological Psychology and obtained her PhD (in 1992) in Utrecht, at the department of Psychopharmacology. Thereafter she worked as a postdoc, and later as senior researcher, at the department of Child Psychiatry at the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU).  Between 2003 and 2008 Chantal Kemner was appointed as a (part-time) full professor at Maastricht University, since then she is a full professor of Biological Developmental Psychology in Utrecht at the faculty of social sciences and since 2013 also at the UMCU. 

Chantal Kemner is program director of the Consortium Individual Development, a consortium of Dutch researchers that obtained the prestigious gravitation grant of the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO), director of the YOUth cohort and director of the Child Research Center (KinderKennisCentrum Utrecht). Chantal Kemner is a VIDI and VICI laureate.


Chantal Kemner’s work has a neurocognitive character and combines approaches from vision research with studies on the development of the social brain, in relation to both normal development as well as psychopathology. This integrative approach is reflected in the fact that she is member of three different departments: the departments of Developmental Psychology and Psychonomics at the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the department of Psychiatry at the UMCU. The techniques Chantal Kemner uses involve the assessment of behaviour in children and adults, including eye tracking, and brain activity, mostly by measuring event-related potentials or ERPs, EEG, and sometimes fMRI.

The main theme of the research has been on the role of low-level, perceptual factors in face and emotion processing, and Chantal Kemner is one of the first to assess this especially in relation to autism. The work indicates that problems in social interaction, such as those seen in autism, are not directly the result of relatively circumscribed abnormalities in development of the social brain. Instead, such problems are related to abnormal perceptual processing. It also shows that the development of the social brain is critically dependent on maturation of specific visual functions. These effects are the base for current studies that aim to determine in more detail the relation between development of visual function, face processing and social functioning in infants and young children, both with respect to normal development and autism.

Research line

Development of perception and social processing

Most recent key publications

1: Logemann, H. N A, Böcker, K. B E, Deschamps, P. K H, Kemner, C. & Kenemans, J. L. (26.09.2014). Differences between nicotine-abstinent smokers and non-smokers in terms of visuospatial attention and inhibition before and after single-blind nicotine administration. Neuroscience, 277, (pp. 375-382)
2: de Jong, Maartje C., Brascamp, Jan W., Kemner, Chantal, van Ee, Raymond & Verstraten, Frans A J (01.01.2014). Implicit perceptual memory modulates early visual processing of ambiguous images. Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (30), (pp. 9970-9981)
3: Hessels, R.S., Hooge, I.T.C., Snijders, T.M. & Kemner, C. (2014). Is There a Limit to the Superiority of Individuals with ASD in Visual Search?. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44 (2), (pp. 443-451)
4: De Jonge, Maretha, Parr, Jeremy, Rutter, Michael, Wallace, Simon, Kemner, Chantal, Bailey, Anthony, Van Engeland, Herman & Pickles, Andrew (23.09.2014). New Interview and Observation Measures of the Broader Autism Phenotype - Group Differentiation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
5: Van den Boomen, C., Lamme, V.A.F. & Kemner, C. (2014). Parallel development of ERP and behavioural measurements of visual sigmentation. Developmental Science, 17 (1), (pp. 1-10)

Side Activities


  • Board Helmholtz Institute (2010-..)
  • Program chair Consortium Individual Development (2012-..)
  • Director YOUth Cohort (2012..)

  • Director Child Expertise Center Utrecht (KinderKennisCentrum)(2013..)

  • Wetenschappelijke advies raad UiL-OTS (2016-..)

Fellowship and Awards

NWO gravitation grant ‘Individual Development’, main applicant (2012)
EU-IMI, co-applicant (2011)
NWO VICI (2007)
NWO VIDI (2002)

Research Output (186)

The YOUth study:Rationale, design, and study procedures

Onland-Moret N. Charlotte, Buizer-Voskamp Jacobine E., Albers Maria E.W.A., Brouwer Rachel M., Buimer Elizabeth E.L., Hessels Roy S., de Heus Roel, Huijding Jorg, Junge Caroline M.M., Mandl René C.W., Pas Pascal, Vink Matthijs, van der Wal Juliëtte J.M., Hulshoff Pol Hilleke E., Kemner Chantal 7 okt 2020, In: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. 46 , p. 1-16

Implying social interaction and its influence on gaze behavior to the eyes

Holleman Gijs A, Hessels Roy S, Kemner Chantal, Hooge Ignace T C 1 feb 2020, In: PLoS ONE. 15

Eurosibs:Towards robust measurement of infant neurocognitive predictors of autism across Europe

Jones E. J.H., Mason L., Begum Ali J., van den Boomen C., Braukmann R., Cauvet E., Demurie E., Hessels R. S., Ward E. K., Hunnius S., Bolte S., Tomalski P., Kemner C., Warreyn P., Roeyers H., Buitelaar J., Falck-Ytter T., Charman T., Johnson M. H., nov 2019, In: Infant Behavior and Development. 57

Eye Tracking During Interactive Face Perception: Does Speech Affect Eye-Tracking Data Quality?

Holleman Gijs A., Hessels Roy S., Kemner Chantal, Hooge Ignace T. C. sep 2019, In: Perception. 48 , p. 118-118

Correction to:The disengagement of visual attention in the gap paradigm across adolescence (Experimental Brain Research, (2017), 235, 12, (3585-3592), 10.1007/s00221-017-5085-2)

Van der Stigchel S., Hessels R. S., van Elst J. C., Kemner C. 1 aug 2019, In: Experimental Brain Research. 237 , p. 2135-2135 1 p.

Test-retest reliability of EEG network characteristics in infants

van der Velde Bauke, Haartsen Rianne, Kemner Chantal 1 mei 2019, In: Brain and Behavior. 9

Individual differences in visual attention and self-regulation:A multimethod longitudinal study from infancy to toddlerhood

Geeraerts Sanne B., Hessels Roy S., Van der Stigchel Stefan, Huijding Jorg, Endendijk Joyce J., Van den Boomen Carlijn, Kemner Chantal, Deković Maja 1 apr 2019, In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 180 , p. 104-112 9 p.

Gaze allocation in face-to-face communication is affected primarily by task structure and social context, not stimulus-driven factors

Hessels Roy S., Holleman Gijs A., Kingstone Alan, Hooge Ignace T.C., Kemner Chantal 1 mrt 2019, In: Cognition. 184 , p. 28-43 16 p.

Slow segmentation of faces in Autism Spectrum Disorder

van den Boomen C., Fahrenfort J. J., Snijders T. M., Kemner C. 12 feb 2019, In: Neuropsychologia. 127 , p. 1-8 8 p.

Brain Responses to Faces and Facial Expressions in 5-Month-Olds: An fNIRS Study

Di Lorenzo Renata, Blasi Anna, Junge Caroline, van den Boomen Carlijn, van Rooijen Rianne, Kemner Chantal 1 jan 2019, In: Frontiers in Psychology. 10

All research output

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