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Joost Haarsma


I obtained a bachelor degree in cognitive neurobiological psychology in 2012 and a two-year research master degree in cognitive neuroscience in 2014. Both degrees were obtained at the University of Utrecht. After obtaining my master degree, I started a PhD in the department of psychiatry under supervision of Dr. Graham Murray and Prof. Paul Fletcher in 2015. This PhD is being funded by the Wellcome Trust NeuroScience in Psychiatry Network.

Departments and Institutes

PhD student

Research Interests

The aim of my PhD is to elucidate the underlying functional mechanisms important in the emergence of psychosis. Our research involves assessing cognitive processes important in perceptual inference and learning from a hierarchical predictive coding framework. We assess these cognitive processes in both prodromal patients and patients that had their first psychotic episode in recent years in order to answer questions regarding the development of these symptoms. Additionally I take a particular interest in elucidating the relation between biomarkers thought to be relevant in the etiology of psychosis, and assess whether these relate to aberrant functional mechanisms found in the prodromal and first episode patients. Hopefully these insights into the relation between biological markers and aberrant functional processes related to learning and perception will pave the way to developing new treatments for psychotic disorders. 


  • psychiatry
  • neuroscience
  • dopamine

Key Publications

Wijnen, J. P., Haarsma, J., Boer, V. O., Luijten, P. R., Stigchel, S., Neggers, S. F. W., & Klomp, D. W. J. (2015). Detection of lactate in the striatum without contamination of macromolecules by J‐difference editing MRS at 7 T. NMR in Biomedicine28(4), 514-522.