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At the Center for Behavioral Addiction Research (CeBAR) we conduct research about the topic behavioral addictions.

Behavioral addictions as for example gambling disorder, Internet-use disorder, shopping disorder, or hypersexual behavior are often described as non-substance-related disorders. Currently there is an international debate about the classification and etiological assumptions of the different behavioral addictions. The research conducted at the CeBAR aims to obtain a better understanding of the development of behavioral addictions.

The focus of research is the identification of mechanisms which contributes to the development and maintenance of behavioral addictions with a main focus on the different forms of pathological internet use. The behavioral addictions are examined from cognitive psychological and neuropsychological perspective. We are primarily interested in how addiction-related cues are processed on an emotional, cognitive, and neural level.

We use different scientific sound research methods, which are in line with our research questions. Especially the use of scientifically designed and verified questionnaires and interviews are the key components of our work. The questionnaires and interviews support the measurement of individual characteristics (e. g. personality traits) and symptoms of behavioral addictions as well as the investigation of other problematic issues. Moreover, there are experimental paradigms used in studies to measure cognitive concepts like attention, concentration, working memory, or problem solving skills. We also measure psychophysiological reactions (e. g. the heart rate), neuroendocrine markers (e. g. salivary cortisol) or neural correlates (e. g. using functional magnetic resonance imaging respectively fMRI).


Current research projects:

  • Cognitive psychological determinants of functional Internet use / Internet use skills
  • Decision making processes, cognitive interference and working memory performance in individuals with pathological internet using behavior
  • Cognitive and emotional correlates of excessive gaming behavior of internet games and the pathological use of social network sites
  • Internet-pornography and Internet-pornography-use disorder: emotional, psychophysiological, and neural correlates
  • Decision making, craving, and cue-reactivity in persons who suffer from behavioral addictions (in particular Internet-use disorder, shopping disorder and gambling disorder)


If you would like to take part in one of our studies, you can find more information here.