Maximilian Scheuplein, MsC

PhD Student



What are your research interests?
  • Social cognition
  • Learning & decision making
  • Adolescent brain & psychological development
  • Resilience
  • Childhood adversity, trauma
What current Projects/Studies you are involved with?
I am a PhD student in the Social Safety and Resilience programme at Leiden University, where my research focuses on understanding the social and neurobiological risk and resilience mechanisms through which adverse early-life experiences (e.g., abuse or neglect) impact individuals’ psychosocial functioning. Up to a third of children growing up worldwide have experienced at least one type of childhood adversity, which is associated with an increased vulnerability to develop mental and physical health difficulties as well as behavioural problems in later life. Crucially, not every individual that has experienced early-life adversity develops psychopathology (i.e., they function in an adaptive and resilient manner). With my PhD research, I aim to advance our understanding of resilience factors that support healthy development, which might also help to inform prevention and intervention strategies targeted at reducing mental health and behavioural problems in at-risk young people.


If you want to learn more about my research, please visit my personal website:


Please tell us a bit about your background
Before moving to the Netherlands, I worked at New York University and the University of Oxford to investigate the neural and cognitive mechanism underlying age-related changes in learning and decision-making. I completed my MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, where I explored the development of social cognition during human adolescence. Before my scientific interest shifted towards the first two decades of life, I completed my BSc in Psychology at Goethe University Frankfurt, where I conducted research in the field of visual cognition.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your work?
Answering kids’ questions about how the brain works.
Please tell us about one thing you are proud of professionally
Being able to answer (some) questions about how the brain works and get kids’ excited about science.