Profile of the Department

Our department investigates the relationships between nutrition, brain function and metabolism. On the one hand, we investigate how consumption decisions are made in the brain and how they can be changed and, on the other hand, what influence our nutrition has on brain and psyche. Deciphering the underlying mechanisms could be used effectively to change decisions and consumption behaviour towards a health-promoting diet.

Nutrition influences countless biochemical processes in the body, including certain processes in the brain. A central question of our department is: How do nutrition and metabolic processes influence our decisions and behaviour?  In particular, we focus on reward-based decisions and decisions in a social context. Our goal is to break down decision behaviour into its various submechanisms and subsequently make predictions by:

  • recording functional and structural neuronal data using magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • collect physiological data by measuring electrodermal activity, heart rate variability, gastric rhythm (EGG) and by recording eye movement (eye tracking)
  • determine metabolic data (e. g. blood glucose, various hormones, amino acids in plasma and microbiome data) from blood and saliva tests

The knowledge gained should contribute to the development of novel intervention strategies that promote sustainable healthy lifestyles.