We study the adaptive mind/brain in relation to the development of addictive behaviors and other forms of psychopathology.
Studies focus both on children (e.g. ADHD), adolescents (e.g., studies on the development of addictive behaviors and anxiety disorders and novel ways to counter the maladaptive effects of processes in these disorders), adults, including elderly (e.g. re-training of maladaptive neurocognitive processes in addicted patients).
We use a variety of methods, including experimental tests on relatively automatic (“implicit”) processes and executive control processes, neuroimaging, genetics, and psychophysiological measures, in addition to more standard questionnaire methods. We also do a lot of research through novel internet-based assessment techniques.
Based on this research, we developed new ways to directly interfere with the neurocognitive processes involved in the development of different disorders. This is either done in patients (e.g. children with ADHD or alcohol-dependent patients) or in individuals at risk to develop problems (targeted intervention, e.g., heavy drinkers). These new techniques can supplement existing treatment or can be used as stand-alone interventions (through the web). We also experiment with novel ways to directly stimulate brain processes that are important to constrain the impact of maladaptive impulses (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, tDCS).