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RG Developmental Neurosciences in Psychiatry


Head of the Research Group

Dr. Nathalie Holz

Phone: +49 621 1703-4904



The expertise of the research group lies in the field of developmental psychopathology. We are tracking the development of psychiatric disorders from infancy into adulthood with the aim to identify risk and resilience factors, (neuro-)biological disease mechanisms, developmental trajectories and consequences of externalizing and internalizing psychopathologies. Our research activities draw heavily on a comprehensive epidemiological and longitudinal cohort study, the – now widely recognized – „Mannheim Study of Children at Risk” (MARS).

MARS investigates psychological development and its disorders in children at risk for later psychopathology with the aim of delineating recommendations for improvements of prevention, early identification, and treatment of psychiatric disorders in children. Assessments in a cohort of > 300 from birth until the adult age are conducted at regular intervals, starting at the age of 3 months and currently running over a period of more than 34 years since birth.

Research foci are: 

  • the long-term psychopathological and (neuro-)biological sequelae of early childhood developmental risk and resilience factors 
  • neural mechanisms of gen-environment interactions
  • epidemiology of psychiatric disorders from infancy to adulthood
  • research on parent-child interactions
  • real-life and real-time monitoring of social networks and mental health

[Translate to English:] Katja Becker (Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Medical Faculty, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany): ADHD research

Stefan Bender (Section for Clinical Neurophysiology and Multimodal Neuroimaging, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Department, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany): EEG research

Günter Esser (Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Germany): Parent-child interaction

Friedhelm Pfeiffer (Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim, Germany): Non-cognitive skills

Martina Pitzer (Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital, Karlsruhe, Germany): Temperament research

Gunter Schumann (Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, UK): Addiction research

Patricia Trautmann-Villalba (Mother-Child Unit, Klinikum Stuttgart, Germany: parent-child interaction

Ulrich S. Zimmermann (Department of Psychiatry, Universitätsklinikum Gustav Carus,  Dresden, Germany: Addiction Research

Prof. Dr. Christian Beckmann, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour: statistical neuroimaging

Prof. Dr. Andre Marquand, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, statistical neuroimaging

Prof. Dr. Jan Buitelaar, Radboud University Nijmegen, neuroimaging child and adolescent psychiatry

Prof. Dr. Barbara Franke, Radboud University Nijmegen, neuroimaging child and adolescent psychiatry

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henning Tiemeier, Erasmus University in Rotterdam, resilience factors

Prof. Dr. Marcel Romanos, Universitätsklinikum Würzburg, child and adolescent psychiatry

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