Research interests

Neurocognitive, neuroimaging and epidemiological research of (sub)clinical dependence, with a focus on the influence of self-regulation and motivational functions on the course of addictive disorders.  Neuroimaging and psychopharmacology of addictive disorders ( pathological gambling, at-risk young adult cannabis users, chronic alcohol dependent and cocaine dependent populations, problematic video gamers). Discovering the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development and course of addictive disorders; e.g. structural brain abnormalities associated with cannabis use (MRI, DTI) and neurocognitive processes associated with changes in cannabis use over time.

These research aims are established through research on motivational processes such as cue-responsivity,and cognitive processes such as response inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and working memory in the brain (functional MRI) and through neurocognitive tests. Pharmacological effects of agents known to improve cognitive functions in addictive disorders are studied, in order to investigate whether impulsivity – which is related to relapse and early treatment drop-out in addiction – can be improved by these pharmacological agents. In the most recent pharmacological fMRI study, we intend to measure the neural mechanism of naltrexone, and to investigate the relationship between clinical effects, and neural effects of slow-release naltrexone, through functional MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and dopamine-receptor binding, using SPECT.


Bijzonder hoogleraar: Werkingsmechanismen en behandeling van verslaving

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