Sylvie Bernaerts


Sylvie is a master of science in psychology (clinical and health psychology) interested in using technology in (mental) healthcare and fascinated by neuropsychology and brain functioning. She obtained a PhD in biomedical sciences under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Kaat Alaerts at KU Leuven, where she studied the behavioural and neural effects of the neuropeptide oxytocin in adult men with autism spectrum disorder. She is currently still affiliated with the Neuromodulation lab at KU Leuven. As of October 2019, Sylvie works as a researcher for Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, affiliated with the expertise unit ‘Psychology, Technology and Society’. She currently coordinates the Immersive Care project, supported by VLAIO, and studies how immersive technology – such as virtual reality, augmented reality and 360° video – can be applied in healthcare in Flanders.


Sylvie does not hold a teaching position.


Articles in internationally reviewed academic journals

De Witte, N. A., Carlbring, P., Etzelmueller, A., Nordgreen, T., Karekla, M., Haddouk, L., Belmont, A., Øverland, S., Abi-Habib, R., Bernaerts, S., Brugnera, A., Compare, A., Duque, A., Ebert, D. D., Eimontas, J., Kassianos, A. P., Salgado, J., Schwerdtfeger, A., Tohme, P., Van Assche,  E., & Van Daele, T. (2021). Online Consultations in Mental Healthcare During the Covid-19 Outbreak: An International Survey Study on Uptake and Experiences. Internet Interventions, 25, 100405.

Van Daele, T., Best, P., Bernaerts, S., Van Asche, E., & De Witte, N. A. J. (2021). Dropping the E: the potential for integrating e-mental health in psychotherapy. Current Opinion in Psychology, 41, 46-50. 

Van Daele, T., Karekla, M., Kassianos, A. P., Compare, A., Haddouk, L., Salgado, J., Ebert, D. D.,  Trebbi, G. (on behalf of the EFPA Project Group on eHealth), Bernaerts, S., Van Assche, E., & De Witte, N. A. J. (2020). Recommendations for policy and practice of telepsychotherapy and e-mental health in Europe and beyond. Journal of Psychotherapy integration, 30(2), 160-173.

Bernaerts, S., Boets, B., Bosmans, G., Steyaert, J., Alaerts, K. (2020). Behavioral effects of multiple-dose oxytocin treatment in autism: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial with long-term follow-up. Molecular Autism. doi:10.1186/s13229-020-0313-1

Alaerts, K., Bernaerts, S., Vanaudenaerde, B., Daniels, N., Wenderoth, N. (2019). Amygdala–Hippocampal Connectivity Is Associated With Endogenous Levels of Oxytocin and Can Be Altered by Exogenously Administered Oxytocin in Adults With Autism. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2019.01.008

Di Martino, A., O’Connor, D., Chen, B., Alaerts, K., Anderson, J., Assaf, M., Balsters, J., Baxter, L., Beggiato, A., Bernaerts, S., Blanken, L., Bookheimer, S., Braden, B.B., Byrge, L., Castellanos, F., Dapretto, M., Delorme, R., Fair, D., Fishman, I., Fitzgerald, J., Gallagher, L., Keehn, R.J J., Kennedy, D., Lainhart, J., Luna, B., Mostofsky, S., Müller, R-A., Nebel, M.B., Nigg, J., O’Hearn, K., Solomon, M., Toro, R., Vaidya, C., Wenderoth, N., White, T., Craddock, C., Lord, C., Leventhal, B., Milham, M. (2017). Enhancing studies of the connectome in autism using the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange II. Scientific Data, 4, Art.No. 170010. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2017.10

Bernaerts, S., Prinsen, J., Berra, E., Bosmans, G., Steyaert, J., Alaerts, K. (2017). Long-term oxytocin administration enhances the experience of attachment. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 78, 1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.01.010

Prinsen, J., Bernaerts, S., Wang, Y., De Beukelaar, T., Cuypers, K., Swinnen, S., Alaerts, K. (2017). Direct eye contact enhances mirroring of others’ movements: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Neuropsychologia, 95, 111-118. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.12.011

Bernaerts, S., Berra, E., Wenderoth, N., Alaerts, K. (2016). Influence of oxytocin on emotion recognition from body language: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 72, 182-189. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.07.002