prof. dr. M.J.H. (Martien) Kas

Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience


Research units:

Research interests

The research of the group focuses on determinants of behavior, especially of behavioral strategies and of biological processes that are essential across species and that are affected in various neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., social interaction and sensory information processing). By means of cross-species genetic analysis of neurobehavioral traits (of mice and men) we aim to identify genotype-phenotype relationships relevant to the development and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer's Disease, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. These studies will lead to our understanding of conserved gene function in regulating essential behavioral strategies and will ultimately improve therapeutic and preventive strategies to contribute to healthy aging.


Experimental strategy:

The identification of molecular genetic mechanisms of neurobehavioral traits is established by performing fine-grained analysis of behavior using both well-established testing paradigms, as well as novel automated behavioral phenotyping methods (e.g., automated home cage recordings in rodents and smartphone application monitoring of human behavior). Behavioral and EEG dynamics in developing genetic mouse models for human candidate genes of neuropsychiatric disorders are studied across different developmental stages and in relation to brain development. Ultimately, genotype-phenotype relationships are translated to relevant human patient populations.


Recent key publications:

1: Bruining H, Matsui A, Oguro-Ando A, Kahn RS, Van't Spijker HM, Akkermans G, Stiedl O, van Engeland H, Koopmans B, van Lith HA, Oppelaar H, Tieland L, Nonkes LJ, Yagi T, Kaneko R, Burbach JP, Yamamoto N, Kas MJ.  Genetic Mapping in Mice Reveals the Involvement of Pcdh9 in Long-Term Social and Object Recognition and Sensorimotor Development. Biological Psychiatry,  2015, 78(7):485-95

2: Eskes P, Spruit M, Brinkkemper S, Vorstman J, Kas MJ. The sociability score: App-based social profiling from a healthcare perspective. Computers in Human Behavior, 2016, 59, 39-48

3: Schughart K, Libert C, and Kas MJ. Human disease: strength to strength for mouse models. Nature, 2012, 492, 41

4: Kas MJ, Kahn RS, Collier DA, Waddington JL, Ekelund J, Porteous DJ, Schughart K, Hovatta I. Translational neuroscience of schizophrenia: seeking a meeting of minds between mouse and man. Science Translational Medicine, 2011, 3(102):102mr3.

5: Laarakker MC, Reinders NR, Bruining H, Ophoff RA, Kas MJ. Sex-dependent novelty response in neurexin-1α mutant mice. PLoS One, 2012, 7(2):e31503.

  1. Chronic dietary changes in n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratios cause developmental delay and reduce social interest in mice

    Elst, K. V., Brouwers, J. F., Merkens, J. E., Broekhoven, M. H., Birtoli, B., Helms, J. B. & Kas, M. J. H. 15-Dec-2018 In : European Neuropsychopharmacology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Modeling the quantitative nature of neurodevelopmental disorders using Collaborative Cross mice

    Molenhuis, R. T., Bruining, H., Brandt, M. J. V., van Soldt, P. E., Abu-Toamih Atamni, H. J., Burbach, J. P. H., Iraqi, F. A., Mott, R. F. & Kas, M. J. H. 13-Dec-2018 In : Molecular Autism. 9, 1, 11 p., 63

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Quantitative neurosymptomatics: Linking quantitative biology to neuropsychiatry

    Kas, M. J., Serretti, A. & Marston, H. 23-Nov-2018 In : Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

  4. Social brain, social dysfunction and social withdrawal

    Porcelli, S., Van Der Wee, N., van der Werff, S., Aghajani, M., Glennon, J. C., van Heukelum, S., Mogavero, F., Lobo, A., Olivera, F. J., Lobo, E., Posadas, M., Dukart, J., Kozak, R., Arce, E., Ikram, A., Vorstman, J., Bilderbeck, A., Saris, I., Kas, M. J. & Serretti, A. 20-Sep-2018 In : Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  5. Beter samen, de biologie van sociale gezondheid

    Kas, M. J. Oct-2018 In : Neuropraxis. 22, 5, p. 154-161 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Press / Media
  1. PRISM Newsletter

    Martien Kas


    7 media contribution

    Press/Media: Research

  2. EQIPD Newsletter

    Martien Kas


    2 media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

  3. BEHAPP smartphone studie in samenwerking met Alzheimercentrum Amsterdam en

    Martien Kas


    1 media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

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  1. Invited speaker at AETIONOMY symposium and IMI neurodegeneration initiatives

    Kas, M. (Invited speaker)

    Activity: ProfessionalTalk or presentation

  2. Passive remote behavioural monitoring in PRISM, an Innovative Medicine Initiative project

    Kas, M. (Invited speaker)

    Activity: ProfessionalTalk or presentation

  3. Oratie: Beter samen, de biologie van sociale gezondheid

    Kas, M. (Other)

    Activity: ProfessionalOther

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