Please enable javascript to view this page in its intended format.

Queen's University

Linda Booij

 Linda Booij

Assistant Professor

Master’s, Leiden University, The Netherlands, 2000
Master’s, Leiden University, 2001
Ph.D., Leiden University, 2005


T: 613.533.6000 ext. 78158  



Psychology Department

Queen's University
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6


» Website

Research Interests

Adverse events can occur and affect the brain at various stages, from gestation until adulthood. Such adverse events can affect the brain in many ways, including alterations in neurotransmission, brain structure, endocrinology, among others, 
all of which may interact. Given the important role of serotonin in brain development, alterations in the serotonin system as a result of early adverse events may be particularly relevant. My research program examines how early adversity, in combination with genetic factors, could affect the serotonin system in humans. The overarching hypothesis of my research program is that an early disruption in serotonin homeostasis could lower the vulnerability threshold in brain circuits involved in emotion regulation, thereby predisposing the individual to psychopathology when exposed to stressful events.
In my studies I use a combination of brain imaging, genetic, epigenetic (i.e. DNA methylation) and emotional-cognitive assessments. For instance, in ongoing projects, I investigate in prospectively followed community samples how early stressors could alter the expression of serotonin genes through epigenetic processes and impact the neural regulation of emotions. I am extending this line of research to clinical populations, in particular to individuals with mood disorders and to individuals with aggression problems.

Selected Publications

Booij, L., Wang, D., Lévesque, M.L., Tremblay, R.E, Szyf, M.(2013). Looking beyond the DNA Sequence: the Relevance of DNA Methylation Processes for the Stress-Diathesis Model of Depression. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2013 Feb 25;368(1615):20120251. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0251.

Nagano-Saito, A., Dagher, A., Booij, L., Gravel, P., Welfeld, K., Casey, K., Leyton, M., Benkelfat, C (2013). Stress-induced dopamine release in human medial prefrontal cortex: an 18F-Fallypride / PET study in healthy volunteers. Synapse. 2013 Aug 12. doi: 10.1002/syn.21700. [Epub ahead of print].

Kruijt, A., Antypa, N., Booij, L., de Jong, P.J., Glashouwer, K., Penninx, B.W. (2013). Cognitive reactivity, implicit associations, and the incidence of depression: a two-year prospective study. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 26;8(7): e70245. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070245.

Lataster, J., Collip, D., Hernaus, D., Ceccarini, J., Haas, D., Booij, L., Van Os, J., Pruessner, J., Van Laere, K., Myin-Germeys, I. (2013). Familial liability to psychosis is associated with aberrant dopamine stress signaling in ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Schizophrenia Bulletin, Jan 30 [Epub ahead of print].

Wang, D., Szyf, M., Benkelfat, C., Provençal, N., Turecki, G., Caramaschi, D., Côté, S.M., Vitaro, F., Tremblay, R.E, Booij, L. (2012). Peripheral SLC6A4 DNA Methylation is associated with in vivo measures of human brain serotonin synthesis and childhood physical aggression. PlosOne, Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Booij, L., Turecki, G., Leyton, M., Gravel, P., Lopez De Lara, C., Diksic, M. & Benkelfat, C. (2012). Polymorphic variants in the TPH2 gene predict brain serotonin synthesis in humans. Molecular Psychiatry, 17, 809-817.

Pingault, J.B., Côté, S.M., Booij, L., Ouellet-Morin, I., Castellanos-Ryan, N., Vitaro, F., Turecki, G., Tremblay, R.E. (2012). Age-dependent Effect of the MAOA Gene on Childhood Physical Aggression. Molecular Psychiatry, Dec 18. doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.173

Booij, L., Benkelfat, C., Leyton, M., Vitaro, F., Gravel, P., Levesque, M.L., Arseneault, L., Diksic, M., Tremblay, R.E. (2012). Perinatal effects on in vivo measures of brain serotonin synthesis in adulthood: a 27 year longitudinal study. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 22, 419-423.

Caramaschi, D., Booij, L., Petitclerc, A., Boivin, M., Tremblay, R.E.(2012). Genetic and environmental contributions to saliva testosterone levels in male and female infant twins.  Psychoneuroendocrinology, May 7 [Epub ahead of print].

Van Steenbergen, H., Booij, L., Band, G.P.H., Hommel, B., Van der Does, A.J.W. (2012). Affective regulation of cognitive-control adjustments in remitted depressive patients after acute tryptophan depletion. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 12, 280-286.

Lévesque M.L., Beauregard M., Fortier E., Tremblay R.E., Brendgen M., Pérusse D., Dionne G., Robaey P., Vitaro F., Boivin M., Booij L. (2011). Altered patterns of fronto-limbic activation in children with familial risk of depression. Journal of Affective disorders, 135, 410-413.

Booij, L., Tremblay, R.E., Leyton, M., Seguin, J.R., Vitaro, F., Gravel, P., Perreau-Linck, E., Levesque, M., Durand, F., Diksic, M., Turecki, G., & Benkelfat, C (2010). Brain serotonin synthesis in adult males characterized by physical aggression in childhood: A 21 year longitudinal study. PLoSONE, 5(6):e11255.

Booij, L., & Van der Does, A. J.W. (2007). Cognitive and serotonergic vulnerability to depression: Convergent findings. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 116, 86-94.

Booij, L., Swenne, C. A., Brosschot, J. F., Haffmans, P. M. J., Thayer, J. F., & Van der Does, A. J. W. (2006).  Tryptophan depletion affects heart rate variability and impulsivity in remitted depressed patients with a history of suicidal ideation. Biological Psychiatry, 60, 507-514.

 Area of Specialty

Click to go to the Clinical Area site Click to go to the Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science Area

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000