School of Psychology

Image of Marieke De Vries

Marieke De Vries

Associate Professor,



Dr Marieke de Vries studied clinical neuropsychology at the University of Amsterdam. She specialized in neuropsychology in children in both her research and clinical internship. After graduating (MSc), Marieke has worked as a child psychologist. Her PhD project focused on Executive Functions in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). After gaining her PhD, Marieke has worked as a Post-doctoral researcher for research priority area Yield at the University of Amsterdam, the Academic Medical Center, and the VU medical center in Amsterdam.

Expertise Summary

The main focus of Marieke's PhD project was deficits in Executive Functions (EFs) in children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Marieke studied in which EFs children with ASD show deficits and whether and how EFs as measured on tasks relate to EFs in daily life. Moreover, she studied an EF training program for children with ASD. She studied whether Working Memory and Cognitive Flexibility could be trained by means of a specially developed computer game (Braingame Brian). Although all children improved in EFs as measured with tasks, and improved in behaviour as measured with questionnaires, there was no difference between children who were trained (in Working Memory or Cognitive Flexibility) and children who received the control (placebo) training.

During her Postdoctoral research, Marieke focused on neuropsychological consequences of several diseases in children, such as brain tumours, and sickle cell disease. Children who had a brain tumour seem to 'grow into deficit'; neuropsychological problems increase over the years after diagnosis and treatment, as affected brain regions might cease to develop. Screening for neuropsychological consequences over time is therefore very important. Marieke studied whether screening with a questionnaire (Pediatric Perceived Cognitive Functioning item bank; PedsPCF) prior to extensive neuropsychological testing would be beneficial.

Teaching Summary

I am module convenor and lecturer for the following modules:

- Developmental Psychology first (PSGY1013) and second-year (PSGY2013).

- Third-year modules developed by me: Autism (PSGY 3035) and Introduction into Clinical Psychology (PSGY3030)

- I developed a summer Internship Program within the Nottingham Advantage Awards (NAA1597) for Psychology students.

Research Summary

In my current research, I focus on possible cultural differences in interpretation of autism traits, attitude towards autism, stress among parents of children with autism, and music preferences from… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

In my current research, I focus on possible cultural differences in interpretation of autism traits, attitude towards autism, stress among parents of children with autism, and music preferences from individuals with autism, together with my PhD students (Safira Abu Bakar, Omidreza Fani, and Chee Zhong Jian).

Additionally, I am interested in creativity and imagination in the autistic and general population, and differences in parenting styles between cultures and possible influences on child development and attachment.

Past Research

In my past research, I mainly focused on Executive Functioning (EF) in Autism. I studied whether specific EF difficulties correlate in autistic children, i.e., whether there is a specific EF profile. Moreover, I looked into the relationship between EF and Quality of Life. I studied an Executive Functioning training (Brain Game Brian) in a large randomized controlled trial in autistic children and looked into possible predictors of effectiveness.

After my PhD I have studied cognitive functioning in children who had a brain tumour, looked into the relationship between task and questionnaire measures of cognitive functioning, and studied a pediatric cognitive functioning questionnaire.

Future Research

I work on a project about cultural differences in toilet training for children with autism.

School of Psychology

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