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Anna Meijer is working as a PhD student at the clinical neuropsychology department, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the effects of physical activity on executive functions, brain structure (DTI) and brain function (fMRI) in preadolescents. She is interested in the relationship between physical activity and cognition. 



The aim of the Learning by Moving study (Dutch: Slim door Gym) is to examine causal effects of physical activity on (a) a wide range of executive functions in primary school children (e.g. working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and planning), and (b) multiple domains of academic achievement (mathematics, spelling, reading) and (c) brain structure and function. Participating schools will be randomly assigned to an aerobic intervention, a complex coordinative exercise intervention or control condition. The clustered RCT will demonstrate effects of different types of interventions (aerobic exercises versus coordinative exercises) on academic achievement and a possible mediating role of executive functioning. Functional and structural neuroimaging will provide insight in underlying mechanisms on effects of physical exercise on the brain of school-aged children. Importantly, our RCT provides insight into feasibility of implementation in the Dutch primary school setting.

This project is a collaboration between Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen (Human Movement Science), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Education Studies) and the Vrije Universiteit (Clinical Neuropsychology). More information about this project you can find on: www.slimdoorgym.nl or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn944asJ4Js (both in Dutch). 


  • Supervisor of Bachelor and Master theses
  • Tutor neuropsychological diagnostics

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Academic qualification

Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Master


Health care psychology: Clinical neuropsychology, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Master


Psychology, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Bachelor



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