Sascha Duken

PhD candidate

Research Interests

I’m a PhD student in the Amsterdam Emotional Memory Lab. I investigate how emotional episodic memories can change or distort over time, using experimental designs and psychophysiological measures (e.g. fEMG, HRV).

Our personal memories define who we are, they change the way we feel in the present, and they guide our behaviour in the future. Consequently, when memory processes become distorted, they can play an important role in psychopathology. While we know that memories can change, we know little about the circumstances under which such changes occur. When can the quality or content of our memories change? How can memories become excessively negative over time and what can we do to reduce the emotionality of such negative memories? In my research, I aim to find answers to these questions, together with my supervisors Vanessa van Ast and Merel Kindt.


I started my studies at the University of Vienna, where I received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2014) and a Bachelor of Arts in Romance studies (2015, specialization Spanish). Before my Master’s, I worked in a camp for asylum seekers in Austria. Following, I completed the Research Master’s in Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in Clinical Psychology and Social Psychology (2017, cum lude, prize for the best research master thesis within the institute). During my studies, I worked as a research assistant at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and at the University of Amsterdam. My PhD is funded by an NWO Research Talent Grant.

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