Healthy Men Aged 40 to 55

Control group for the Social Neuroscience working group’s scientific study – The role of the immune system and the brain’s reward system in the development of addiction

It is estimated that around 1.3 million people in Germany are addicted to alcohol, and every year around 20,000 people die as a result of alcohol abuse. Addiction is often difficult to treat, with up to 30 percent of patients experiencing a relapse within the first year of treatment.

The reasons why alcohol dependency develops are still largely unknown, though the brain’s reward system and the body’s immune system seem to play a key role. In order to investigate these connections more closely, the Social Neuroscience working group at the Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy is carrying out a study on the topic of “Social Rewards in Alcohol Dependence”. The group is urgently seeking men who are not addicted to alcohol as control subjects.

What role does the immune system play?

Requirements for participation: The male participants should be aged between 40 and 55 and be in good health, which means they have no neurological, psychiatric or chronic inflammatory diseases and do not take any regular medication. It is also important for the MRI examination that participants do not have any metal in their body (e.g. orthopaedic implants such as screws), or large tattoos.

Examination procedure: The study will take place over two mornings for approx. three hours each morning (between 8.30 and 11.30 a.m.). This includes time for breaks. Weekend appointments are also possible. The examinations comprise a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI; no radiation is involved!), and the taking of several blood samples to determine hormones and the immune system’s blood levels. Participants will also fill out several questionnaires.

Compensation: Compensation for participation in the study amounts to 60 euros (plus smaller sums of money that can be won by performing a task). Participants will also be able to take home an image of their own brain,

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact:



Study by the Social Neuroscience working group (Photo: University of Lübeck)