Prof. Dr. Monica Dhar: Biological Psychology


Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of Psychology
Pleinlaan 2
B - 1050 Brussel
phone : + 32-2-629 27 14
office: 3C211a
email :


  • PhD in Medical Sciences – University of Groningen, 2009 “ Dissertation: Electrophysiological Studies on Visual Information Processing in Adults with Dyslexia and ADHD”
  • MSc in Psychology – University of Groningen, 1996


  • Biologische Psychologie I (Bachelor 1)


Interested in developmental disorders, emotion regulation, social cognition, cognitive control, psychophysiology.

Understanding social cognition in children with disruptive behaviour disorder

Adequate social behaviour entails understanding acceptable social interaction within a particular context. Children with disruptive behaviour disorders (oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder) often demonstrate a lack of social competence and empathy and frequently fail to take someone else’s perspective into account. They may experience conflicts with peers and adults, behave aggressively, and lack prosocial behaviour. These behavioural problems may be related to deficiencies in mentalising. As a consequence, these children may experience problems in understanding the thoughts, beliefs, intentions, emotions, etc. of other people. This project is geared at gaining a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms related to mentalising problems in children with disruptive behaviour disorders.

Emotion regulation in children with disruptive behaviour disorders

Emotion regulation is a crucial aspect of self-regulation and is defined as the processes necessary for monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting emotional responses in order to promote goal-directed behaviour. Adaptive emotion regulation encompasses the maintenance of cognitive control in the presence of interfering emotional information. Children with disruptive behavioural disorders (oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder) commonly have difficulty regulating their emotions. This is often reflected in impulsivity and emotionally reactive behaviour, in particular aggression. In this project, we use experimental tasks in order to gain insight into emotion regulation processes in children with disruptive behaviour disorders, meanwhile measuring electrodermal responses reflecting changes in autonomic arousal.


List of Publications 

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