Joske Rijmen

Joske RijmenMy name is Joske Rijmen, I am a clinical psychologist, working as a teaching assistant and PhD Student within the Developmental Disorders lab. My research mainly focusses on the arousal/activation state in people with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The executive dysfunction hypothesis explains the symptoms of ADHD as well as the poorer task performance of people with ADHD, in function of problems with executive functions, mainly as an inability to inhibit inappropriate responses. However, research has shown that ADHD symptoms and performance by people with ADHD is strongly influenced by context. This appears to be due to difficulties regulating the arousal/activation level (State Regulation Deficit hypothesis). Different studies found that  people with ADHD as well as typically developing people with more ADHD characteristics perform better when stimuli are presented at a higher rate or when the stimuli are presented with additional sensory stimulation.

My research focusses specifically on the arousal/activation state in different contexts. I will not only investigate whether people with ADHD (or with ADHD characteristics) perform better in certain contexts, but also examine whether this is related to the psychophysiological arousal/activation state, by means of electroencephalogram, heart rate measurement and electrodermal measurements.

Additionally, I am also interested in ways to improve the energetic state in people with ADHD, for example by presenting them with additional external stimulation (e.g., white noise) or by movement.

The goal of my research is to add to the theoretical knowledge on ADHD as well as formulate advice on how to help people with ADHD.