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

Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience

prof. dr. M.J.H. (Martien) Kas
+31 50 36 32381 (Direct contact)
+31 50 36 32340 (Alternative contact)


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. Genome-wide association study identifies eight risk loci and implicates metabo-psychiatric origins for anorexia nervosa

    Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative & Kas, M. J. H., 15-Jul-2019, In : Nature Genetics.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  2. RFID-supported video tracking for automated analysis of social behaviour in groups of mice

    Peleh, T., Bai, X., Kas, M. J. H. & Hengerer, B., 27-Jun-2019, In : Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 325, 9 p., 108323.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

  3. The reduction of astrocytes and brain volume loss in anorexia nervosa: The impact of starvation and refeeding in a rodent model

    Frintrop, L., Trinh, S., Liesbrock, J., Leunissen, C., Kempermann, J., Etdöger, S., Kas, M. J., Tolba, R., Heussen, N., Neulen, J., Konrad, K., Päfgen, V., Kiessling, F., Herpertz-Dahlmann, B., Beyer, C. & Seitz, J., 4-Jun-2019, In : Translational Psychiatry. 9, 1, 11 p., 159.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  4. Rodent models of social stress and neuronal plasticity: Relevance to depressive-like disorders

    Patel, D., Kas, M. J., Chattarji, S. & Buwalda, B., 22-Apr-2019, In : Behavioural Brain Research. 369, 111900.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

  5. Development of a Visual Mismatch Negativity Task in Freely Moving Mice

    Kat, R., Perenboom, M. J. L., Wams, E. J., Bruining, H., Tolner, E. A. & Kas, M. J. H., 2018, In : Neuropsychobiology. 77, 3, p. 133-133 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractAcademic

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Press / Media
  1. Anorexia not just a psychiatric problem, scientists find

    Martien Kas


    2 items of media coverage

    Press/Media: ResearchProfessional

  2. AIMS-2-TRIALS Newsletter

    Martien Kas


    2 media contributions

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesProfessional

  3. New research highlights biological similarities between psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders

    Martien Kas


    1 media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesProfessional

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  1. KNAW commissie lid - inventarisatie onderzoeksmethoden in de neurowetenschappen.

    Martien Kas (Other)

    Activity: OtherAcademic

  2. The PRISM project: linking quantitative biology to neuropsychiatry

    Martien Kas (Invited speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic

  3. The biology of social withdrawal

    Martien Kas (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic

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  1. Translational Neuroscience Prize 2019

    Martien Kas (Recipient), 20-Jun-2019


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