Experiment descriptions YOUth Child & Teenager

Computer tasks

Measured in waves: Around 9 Years, Around 12 Years, Around 15 Years.

  • Peabody: To measure a child’s receptive vocabulary. A child selects which out of four pictures matches best the word the child hears. This task lasts approximately 15 minutes (until the task becomes too difficult). 
  • Cyberball: This paradigm measures constructs of prosocial behaviour related to empathy as it investigates whether a child actively compensates for other children’s behaviour who are suddenly excluding a third child in a ball-throwing game.
  • The Penn CNB is a computerized neurocognitive test battery developed at the University of Pennsylvania. We included three subtasks of this battery that capture two specific cognitive domains: verbal memory (short term and delayed verbal memory tasks) and emotion recognition. Please note that the data collection for this task ended in April 2021, because we decided to no longer collect or store any data on servers outside the Netherlands (even though these data were anonymous). Data collected until April 2021 is now stored on our own servers and therefore still available. 
  • Trust game: This paradigm tests participants’ willingness to trust others and reciprocate other’s trusts in a social context, both of which serve as proxies for prosocial behaviour. 
  • Delay discounting task: The delay discounting task is typically considered an index of impulsive behaviour. Children are asked to make a choice between an immediate small reward and a delayed larger reward. 


Measured in waves: Around 9 Years, Around 12 Years, Around 15 Years.

  • Child Gap prosaccade & antisaccade: The Gap-overlap task (adapted from Elsabbagh, Fernandes et al. (2013) is a gaze contingent paradigm that measures visual attention shifting between a central and a peripheral stimulus. This is thought to be a key sub process underlying behavioural control. 
  • Child Social Gaze: The social gaze task is an eye-tracking task at all waves (except pregnancy) that measures a subject’s sensitivity to another person’s gaze direction as a possible cue to predict the location of a next event. Sensitivity to gaze direction is taken as a marker of social competence.

Intelligence quotient

Measured in waves: Around 9 Years, Around 12 Years, Around 15 Years.

WISC-V: Intelligence is estimated with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children in the fifth edition (WISC-V Dutch version, Wechsler, 2018).  We assess the following seven subtests: vocabulary, block design, similarities, coding, matrix reasoning, figure weights, and digit span. Because the Dutch WISC-V was released after the start of the study, we started with the third edition (WISC-III Dutch version, Wechsler, 2003) and then switched to the WISC-V just after its release in 2018. We assessed six subtests of the WISC-III: vocabulary, block design, smiliraties, coding, arithmetic, and digit span. 

Mock scanner

Measured in waves: Around 9 Years, Around 12 Years, Around 15 Years.

Inhibition experiment


Measured in waves: Around 9 Years, Around 12 Years, Around 15 Years.

All magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were acquired on a Philips Ingenia CX scanner operating at 3 tesla, using a 32-channel SENSE head-coil.

  • Anatomy experiment: A structural MRI scan is acquired to assess morphology of the brain. From these scans, volumetric measurements, cortical thickness, surface area and gyrification can be inferred. 
  • Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI):High resolution multi-shell diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) scans are acquired that allow us to investigate the microstructure of brain tissue.
  • Resting state functional MRI scan:  We record brain activity while the subject is asked to lay still in the scanner. Using this recording, we aim to provide measures of intrinsic brain connectivity patterns. 
  • Inhibition task for functional MRI: The stop-signal anticipation task for functional MRI aims to measure performance and brain activation during actual stopping as well as during the anticipation of stopping. 
  • Face/house task for functional MRI: The face/house task for functional MRI is geared towards activating face processing areas in the brain. Children are presented with pictures of faces and of houses, in a semi-random order. To ensure children are paying attention, they are instructed to press a button when a red dot appears. 

Parent Child Interaction

Measured in waves: Around 9 Years, Around 12 Years, Around 15 Years.

Parent child interaction (PCI) is recorded to allow researchers to code qualitative aspects of the observed interaction between parent and child based on explicitly defined behaviours. The PCI consists of age appropriate structured tasks that include a common mildly stressful event (discussing a difficult topic), and a pleasant event (discussing a pleasant topic). The PCI tasks take about 15 minutes to complete. More information.