Welcome to the O’BRAIN Lab

Welcome to the O’BRAIN Lab

The O’BRAIN Lab is a group of researchers inves­ti­gat­ing the inter­play between obe­si­ty and the brain.
Over­weight and obe­si­ty rates have risen steadi­ly in recent decades. Although many of us share sim­i­lar envi­ron­ments, only a few peo­ple become obese. How come? In our search for the cause, we are con­front­ed with a com­plex inter­play of many fac­tors: In addi­tion to the envi­ron­ment, behav­iour, brain func­tion, and genet­ic influ­ences deter­mine the deci­sions we make and thus ulti­mate­ly also our body weight.


We try to answer fun­da­men­tal ques­tions about obe­si­ty: How does obe­si­ty devel­op? Why is it so hard to resist tempt­ing food? Does our brain deter­mine what and how much we eat? How does our nutri­tion shape our brain? Do changes with­in the brain make it so dif­fi­cult for us to break bad eat­ing habits? Last but not least: How can we help to improve eat­ing habits?


Our team is cur­rent­ly based in two places: Leipzig (Ger­many) and Helsin­ki (Fin­land). We bring togeth­er researchers from var­i­ous dis­ci­plines such as neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy, psy­chol­o­gy, cog­ni­tive sci­ence, math­e­mat­ics, and med­i­cine.

Volunteer 🇩🇪

Wenn die Kon­tak­tbeschränkun­gen aufge­hoben wer­den und das Insti­tut wieder für Tes­tun­gen öffnet, suchen wir für eine Studie:

gesunde Frauen (18–42 Jahre, hor­monell ver­hü­tend)

Momen­tan find­en keine Tes­tun­gen statt. Es wird mit Hochdruck an Lösun­gen für eine sichere Inter­ak­tion mit ProbandIn­nen gear­beit­et. Für die Zeit, ab der  Tes­tun­gen wieder möglich sind, suchen wir nach Per­so­n­en, die an unseren Stu­di­en teil­nehmen. Sie kön­nen unsere Forschung unter­stützen, indem Sie sich in unserem Proban­den­pool anmelden.

Recent News

The O’BRAIN Lab in times of Corona

Life at the O’BRAIN Lab is begin­ning to return to nor­mal — staff in Leipzig were wel­comed back to the office (in small num­bers), while work­ing from home con­tin­ues in Helsin­ki, with an exit strat­e­gy being pre­pared. We tried to make the best of social dis­tanc­ing while in lock­down and…

Corona in Europe

Like almost all coun­tries all over the world Ger­many and Fin­land have been fac­ing the COVID 19/Corona cri­sis since late Feb­ru­ary and ear­ly March. In an unprece­dent­ed move, both the Uni­ver­si­ty of Helsin­ki as well as the MPI in Leipzig, went vir­tu­al as pre­emp­tive mea­sures. All staff, incl. the entire…

Replication Grant awarded

Togeth­er with inter­na­tion­al col­leagues Annette will work on a repli­ca­tion grant from the Dutch Research Coun­cil (NWO), award­ed to Sanne de Wit and Jaap JM Murre from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ams­ter­dam in March 2020. Four labs, includ­ing the O’BRAIN Lab, Paul Fletcher’s Lab at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cam­bridge, and Julia…