DFG-project „Neural correlates of craving in individuals with pathological buying“

PD Dr. Katrin Starcke and Prof. Dr. Matthias Brand received funding from the DFG for the project „Neural correlates of craving in individuals with pathological buying“ (DFG: STA 1196/2-3).

The projects is implemented in cooperation Prof. Dr. Anya Pedersen (Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Kiel).


Pathological buying is characterized by recurrent, senseless buying behaviors which are associated to severe negative social, financial and psychic problems. The behavior is located on the act of buying itself which is perceived as pleasant. The acquired consumer goods often do not get used and attempts to refrain the buying behavior are associated with negative feelings.

The development and maintenance of excessive behaviors is currently explained by craving reactions. Craving describes the irresistible desire to consume a substance or engage in behaviors and is a well-established concept in addiction research as well as in research on behavioral addictions. In a predecessor project, craving reactions on a behavioral and peripheral physiological level had been demonstrated for pathological buyers when exposed to shopping related pictures in contrast to healthy control participants (Trotzke, P., Starcke, K., Pedersen, A., & Brand, M. (2014). Cue-induced craving in pathological buying: empirical evidence and clinical implications. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76, 694-700.). In the current project neural correlates of craving will be assessed in individuals with pathological buying with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and should contribute to a better understanding for the development and maintenance of the disorder.


Project collaborator

Dipl.-Psych. Patrick Trotzke