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Research Team Collaborations Publications


Our main research interest is the exploration of the brain correlates of alcohol-related problems by means of a multidisciplinary approach combining neuropsychological, electrophysiological neuroimaging and biological tools. We propose a developmental perspective exploring these impairments in alcohol-dependence but also at earlier stages of the pathology (e.g. binge drinking). We are also interested in the influence of biological factors involved in addictions (e.g. stress, inflammatory factors and gut permeability). Our research group is part of the Laboratory for Experimental Psychopathology (LEP), which is specialized in the elucidation of the psychological processes involved in the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors and emotional disorders, as well as in the development of psychological interventions targeting these processes. This experimental psychopathology approach is inspired by complementary theoretical backgrounds and methodologies (e.g. social and affective neurosciences, cognitive and behavioral psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive psychopathology).

Besides these aspects related to addictions, we also develop other research topics that explore cognitive and emotional dimensions of different psychiatric diseases, particularly in schizophrenia and Huntington disease.

Two major themes are discussed within our group:

A. Social cognition sociale and psychiatric disorders

  •  Study of musical and visual recognition in various psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, unipolar depression, bipolar disorder, and among deaf people with cochlear implants
  •  Future project: fMRI in the emotional musical recognition in schizophrenia.

B. Alcoholism and Psychology of Health and Emotions

  • Studies of the relationship between cognitive, emotional and motivational factors amongst alcoholic patients during their alcohol withdrawal programme
  • Studies of autobiographical memory difficulties and autonoetic consciousness amongst  alcoholic patients and role in the denial of alcoholism
  • Study of olfactory disorders amongst alcoholic patients and links to the dysfunction of orbitofrontal cortex : ERPs
  • Study of alcohol effects on the nutritional balance of alcoholic patients and endocrine determinants
  • Study of alcohol effects on the flora, on the intestinal barrier and on the inflammatory response: role in alcohol dependence
  • Study of the oxytocin's influence on social interactions
  • Study of the fronto-striato-loop cortical dysfunction among alcoholic patients and controls by measuring ocular movements
  • Study of social cognitive disorders among alcoholic patients
  • Study of dysfunction in motor control among alcoholic patients.

The current projects are:

  • Emotional and interpersonal processes in Alcohol-Dependence;
  • Brain consequences of Binge drinking;
  • Emotion-vision interactions in Alcohol-dependence;
  • The role of self-consciousness and body awareness in the tendency for drinking in alcohol-dependence;
  • Biological-markers of alcohol-dependence;
  • Towards a deeper and closer to real life investigation of emotional impairments in Huntington’s disease;
  • Investigation of the generalization and the specificity of the impairment of emotional decoding in schizophrenia;
  • Investigation of the impact of negative symptoms on the mobilization of concepts linked to the theory of mind in schizophrenic syndromes;
  • Investigation of facial, vocal and musical emotion recognition in schizophrenic patients.


 A. Social cognition sociale and psychiatric disorders

      Principal investigators

      PhD students 

  • Vincent MEERT: PhD student in psychiatry

B. Alcoholism and Psychology of Health and Emotions

     Principal investigator

      PhD students 


A. Social cognition sociale and psychiatric disorders

  • Jean Delbeke: Gren, UCL
  • Pierre PHILIPPOT: Faculty of psychology, UCL
  • Charles KORNREICH: Brugmann Hospital
  • Séverine SAMSON: Faculty of psychology, Lille3 
  • Isabelle PERETZ: Faculty of psychology, Montreal

B. Alcoholism and Psychology of Health and Emotions

  • Centre de recherche en Santé et Développement Psychologique (CSDP)
  • Laboratory of Experimental Psychopathology
  • Personnel scientifique : Jean Luc Balligan, Joël Billieux, Patrice Cani, Renata Cserjesi, Olivier Corneille, Nathalie Delzenne, Olivier DeVuyst, Julie Duqué, Delphine Grynberg, Alexandre Heeren, Olivier Luminet, Pierre Maurage, Moira Mikolajczak, Audrey Neyrinck, Pierre Philippot, Dana Samson, Peter Starkel, Juan Tecco, Nicolas Vermeulen, Emmanuelle Zech


Significant publications