IMAGEN is a European research project examining how biological, psychological, and environmental factors during adolescence may influence brain development and mental health. Using brain imaging and genetics, the project will help develop prevention strategies and improved therapies for mental health disorders in the future.
IMAGEN combines brain imaging, genetics, and psychiatry to increase our understanding of adolescent brain development and behaviour – namely, sensitivity to rewards, impulsivity, and emotional processing.
Research teams from London, Nottingham, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Mannheim and Dresden have been following 2000 young people and their parents from the age of 14, with follow-up assessments at ages 16, 19 and 22.
Data are collected from participants and their parents using the following methods:
- Imaging of brain structure and brain activity
- Cognitive and behavioural assessments
- Self-report questionnaires using a number of psychosocial measures looking at factors such as relationships, feelings, and personality.
- Questionnaires related to drug and alcohol use
- Blood sampling for genetic and biological analyses.