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Dr T.F. (Tessa) Blanken

Postdoctoral researcher
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group Psychological Methods

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 129
Postal address
  • Postbus 15906
    1001 NK Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    Tessa Blanken is a postdoctoral researcher at the Psychological Methods department at the University of Amsterdam.

    In her research, Tessa uses network analyses, complexity science, and other data scientific techniques to investigate research questions that are societally relevant. During her PhD she focused on the interplay between insomnia and depression, among the most prevalent mental disorders today. After completing her PhD in early 2020, she co-founded the interdisciplinary platform Science versus Corona, including a data consultancy desk, to unite scientists across disciplines to understand and combat the coronavirus. She led the work on behavioral contact networks with the goal to identify behavioural interventions to mitigate the virus spread.

    Currently, she focuses on two research lines: one on the role of sleep in the development, prevention, and intervention of depression; and another on human behaviour simulation to measure, explain, and model human behaviour with the goal to find substantiated and practical solutions to societal questions

    Expertise and research fields

    • Research Methods
    • Network analysis
    • Data Science
    • Psychopathology
    • Insomnia
    • Depression

    Other affiliations

  • Research

    Research methods 

    • Network analysis
    • Computational models
    • Data science
    • Experimental research design
    • Survey

    Current research projects

    • Network Intervention Analysis: we aim to combine network analysis with experimental RCT data to investigate the symptom-specific and sequential effects of treatments.
    • Science versus Corona: in the beginning of 2020 we started this multidischiplinary initiative. Today, we still work on projects related to that first initiative (see HUBS and RTLS). 
    • Human Behaviour Simulation (HUBS): we aim to develop realistic human behaviour simulation models to model behaviour in complex and social situations. 
    • Real Time Locating System (RTLS): this mobile set-up allows to collect movement data (xy-coordinates) realtime in different contexts. The data is used to inform our simulation models (see HUBS). 

    Research grants & honours

    • PI Bial €40k (project: “The whole is more than the sum of its parts: Elucidating the link between sleep quality and well-being by integrating cross-modal networks”)
    • Co-PI abc €280k (project: “More than the sum of parts: Exploiting the synergy between psychological and brain networks”)
    • Hilbert Kamphuisen award for best dissertation 2019-2020
    • VU University Research Fellowship (2016-2017)
    • Co-applicant Innovation Grant Personalised Medicine, APH (€28k): “Linking symptom and brain network structure to understand heterogeneity in treatment response in ADHD” 
    • Co-applicant eScience center open call for SSI in Software Performance Optimization (0.33 PYR): “Minds for mobile agents” 

    Current cooperation with organisations and/or persons

    Official external collaborations - supported by funding

    • Collaboration with Anouk Schrantee (AMC)
    • Collaboration with Robert Belleman, Visualisation Lab, Informatics Institute
    • Collaboration with Frank Lobbezoo (ACTA), Ghislane Aarab (ACTA), Eus van Someren (Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience) as supervisor team for Thiprawee Chattrattrai

    Official internal collaborations

    • Denny Borsboom, Dora Matzke, Andrew Heathcote, Charlotte Tanis (Psychological Methods department) 
    • Maarten Marsman (Psychological Methods department, abc grant)
    • Merel Kindt and Arnoud Arntz (Clinical Psychology, supervisor-team for Güldehan Durman)
    • Jaap Lancee and Tim Schoenmakers (Clinical Psychology, supervisor-team Mathilde Looman)

    Unofficial collaborations

    • (external) Collaboration with Linda Douw (Amsterdam UMC)  
    • (external) Collaboration with Sophie Boerman (WUR)
    • (internal) Collaboration with Esmée Verwijk (Brain & Cognition, UvA)  
    • Collaboration with Marijn Meijers
  • Teaching & PhD supervision

    Overview courses

    Ancillary activities

  • Publications





    • Blanken, T. F., Benjamins, J. S., Borsboom, D., Vermunt, J. K., Paquola, C., Ramautar, J., Dekker, K., Stoffers, D., Wassing, R., Wei, Y., & Van Someren, E. J. W. (2019). Insomnia disorder subtypes derived from life history and traits of affect and personality. The Lancet Psychiatry, 6(2), 151-163. [details]
    • Letina, S., Blanken, T. F., Deserno, M. K., & Borsboom, D. (2019). Expanding Network Analysis Tools in Psychological Networks: Minimal Spanning Trees, Participation Coefficients, and Motif Analysis Applied to a Network of 26 Psychological Attributes. Complexity, 2019, [9424605]. [details]



    • Benjamins, J. S., Migliorati, F., Dekker, K., Wassing, R., Moens, S., Blanken, T. F., te Lindert, B. H. W., Sjauw Mook, J., & Van Someren, E. J. W. (2017). Insomnia heterogeneity: Characteristics to consider for data-driven multivariate subtyping. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 36, 71-81.
    • Dekker, K., Blanken, T. F., & Van Someren, E. J. W. (2017). Insomnia and personality—a network approach. Brain Sciences, 7(3), [28].
    • Hammerschlag, A. R., Stringer, S., De Leeuw, C. A., Sniekers, S., Taskesen, E., Watanabe, K., Blanken, T. F., Dekker, K., Te Lindert, B. H. W., Wassing, R., Jonsdottir, I., Thorleifsson, G., Stefansson, H., Gislason, T., Berger, K., Schormair, B., Wellmann, J., Winkelmann, J., Stefansson, K., ... Posthuma, D. (2017). Genome-wide association analysis of insomnia complaints identifies risk genes and genetic overlap with psychiatric and metabolic traits. Nature genetics, 49(11), 1584-1592.
    • Krypotos, A-M., Blanken, T. F., Arnaudova, I., Matzke, D., & Beckers, T. (2017). A Primer on Bayesian Analysis for Experimental Psychopathologists. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 8(2), 140-157. [details]
    • Wei, Y., Colombo, M. A., Ramautar, J. R., Blanken, T. F., van der Werf, Y. D., Spiegelhalder, K., Feige, B., Riemann, D., & Van Someren, E. J. W. (2017). Sleep stage transition dynamics reveal specific stage 2 vulnerability in insomnia. Sleep, 40(9), [zsx117].



    • Blanken, T. F., & van Someren, E. J. W. (2019). Subtyping insomnia disorder – Authors' reply. The Lancet Psychiatry, 6(4), 285-286.
    • Blanken, T. F., Van Der Zweerde, T., Van Straten, A., Van Someren, E. J. W., Borsboom, D., & Lancee, J. (2019). Introducing Network Intervention Analysis to Investigate Sequential, Symptom-Specific Treatment Effects: A Demonstration in Co-Occurring Insomnia and Depression. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 88(1), 52-54. [details]

    Prize / grant

    • Matzke, D., Heathcote, A., Blanken, T. & Tanis, C. (2021). Small-Scale Initiatives in Software Performance Optimization.


    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • Nederlands Herseninstituut
      50% postdoc aanstelling;