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. The Visible Burrow System: A behavioral paradigm to assess sociability and social withdrawal in BTBR and C57BL/6J mice strains

    Bove, M., Ike, K., Eldering, A., Buwalda, B., de Boer, S. F., Morgese, M. G., Schiavone, S., Cuomo, V., Trabace, L. & Kas, M. J. H. 7-Feb-2018 In : Behavioral Brain Research.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  2. A quantitative approach to neuropsychiatry: The why and the how

    Kas, M. J., Penninx, B., Sommer, B., Serretti, A., Arango, C. & Marston, H. 12-Dec-2017 In : Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview article

  3. Loss of CNTNAP2 causes axonal excitability deficits, developmental delay in cortical myelination, and abnormal stereotyped motor behavior

    Scott, R., Sánchez-Aguilera, A., van Elst, K., Lim, L., Dehorter, N., Bae, S. E., Bartolini, G., Peles, E., Kas, M. J. H., Bruining, H. & Marín, O. 28-Dec-2017 In : Cerebral Cortex.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  4. Establishment of a chronic activity-based anorexia rat model

    Frintrop, L., Trinh, S., Liesbrock, J., Paulukat, L., Kas, M. J., Tolba, R., Konrad, K., Herpertz-Dahlmann, B., Beyer, C. & Seitz, J. 1-Jan-2018 In : Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 293, p. 191-198 8 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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Press / Media
  1. Flyer EQIPD EU project released

    Martien Kas


    1 media contribution

    Press / Media: Public Engagement Activities

  2. Exclusive interview with Prof. dr. Martien Kas, invited speaker at the European Congress of Psychiatry

    Martien Kas


    1 item of media coverage

    Press / Media: Public Engagement Activities

  3. Fifth PRISM Newsletter released

    Martien Kas


    1 media contribution

    Press / Media: Public Engagement Activities

View all (17) »

  1. International Society for Autism Research 2018 Annual Meeting

    Kas, M. (Invited speaker)

    Activity: ScientificParticipation in conference

  2. Invited lecture at the 26th European Congress of Psychiatry

    Kas, M. (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

  3. Linking psychiatry to quantitative biology

    Kas, M. (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

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