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. 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

  2. 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

  3. Examination of the shared genetic basis of anorexia nervosa and obsessive-compulsive disorder

    Eating Disorders Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium 7-Aug-2018 In : Molecular Psychiatry. 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. New approaches in psychiatric drug development

    van der Doef, T. F., Domingo, S. Z., Jacobs, G. E., Drevets, W. C., Marston, H. M., Nathan, P. J., Tome, M. B., Tamminga, C. A., van Gerven, J. M. A. & Kas, M. J. H. Sep-2018 In : European Neuropsychopharmacology. 28, 9, p. 983-993 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Press / Media
  1. 6th PRISM newsletter published

    Martien Kas


    1 media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

  2. World’s largest grant on Autism will transform research landscape.

    Martien Kas


    1 media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

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

    Kas, M. (Other)

    Activity: ProfessionalOther

  2. Dutch Neuroscience meeting 2018

    Kas, M. (Organiser)

    Activity: ScientificOrganising an event

  3. Linking Psychiatry to Biology

    Kas, M. (Invited speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

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