Carlijn van den Boomen is Cluster Chair at University College Utrecht and Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology (Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science)
In her role as cluster chair, Carlijn is responsible for the management and development of staff members in her cluster, in the fields of Psychology, Biology, Medicine and Cognitive Neuroscience. In addition, she's responsible for the development and innovation of the curriculum within and across her cluster, and in liaison with the UU faculties.
The education of Carlijn focuses on interdisciplinary education: Carlijn developed and currently coordinates an interdisciplinary course and minor on behalf of Dynamics of Youth. She also runs a project at UCU on the role of interdisciplinary in relation to disciplinary education. At the department of Psychology, Carlijn is assessment ambassador and she provides amongst others skills training in conducting research using fysiological measurements such as EEG.
The research of Carlijn focuses on development of emotional face processing. Emotions in faces guide social interactions: how differently do we respond to someone looking angry or happy, even when we do not know this person. People differ in their abilities to recognize emotions, and can show severe deficits such as some persons with Autism. In her research, she aims to unravel the various influences on the development of facial emotion recognition. The influences Carlijn studies range from very basic visual perception, such as sensitivity to details, to experience with faces through parents or active training. She investigates this in children from infancy to adulthood, both in typical development and in Autism. For her studies she uses various techniques to record brain activity and behavioural responses. Disentangling the wide range of factors that affect emotion recognition, and understanding the mechanisms via which this visual skill affects the development of social interaction aids the development of therapies for persons with Autism.