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RG Behavioural Addiction


Head of the Research Group

PD Dr. Tagrid Leménager

Phone: +49 621 1703-3907

Fax: +49 621 1703-3505


Day Clinic for Addictive Disorders, 2nd Floor, Room 203


A behavioral addiction can be defined as a rewarding non-drug-related behavior that got out of control and can lead to massive suffering and existential problems for the affected person and his/her relatives. But what are the risk factors for a person to become more and more trapped into the virtual world or into gambling until he/she is not able to deal with the requirements of daily life anymore?

The research group on behavioral addictions of the Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine (Head: Prof. Dr. Falk Kiefer) focuses on the exploration of psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying addictive behavior to the internet, video games, or gambling.

The overall aim is to identify protective and risk factors that play a main role for the development and maintenance of addictive behavior. The findings enable the deduction of multifactorial explanation models and build a basis for the modification of improved diagnostic and treatment procedures. Furthermore, the results serve to improve the understanding of the patients’ own problematic behavior and increase empathy for the patients themselves.

A further focus of the research group is the assessment of the question of why adolescents in particular are more vulnerable to develop an internet gaming disorder.

A currently running project investigates whether deficits in one’s own identity or self-image have an impact on the development of an internet gaming disorder in young adults. The study involves psychometric as well as structural and functional brain imaging assessments.

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de