Addiction in the Brain: Ethically Sound Implementation in Governance


A-BRAIN will formulate sustainable and ethically sound ways for implementing neuroscientific knowledge and ideas surrounding addiction, commonly referred to as the Brain Disease Model of Addiction (BDMA). The point of departure lies in the idea that if the BDMA is to be integrated in governance in a meaningful, ethically solid and efficient way there is a need to identify the apparatus of ideas and visions that such a governmentality allows for and strives towards. The main objective is achieved with the help of empirical inquiries into conceptualizations of the BDMA in different settings and among different stakeholders: the media, scientists and experts, prevention programmes, and among staff and clients in treatment. The goal is to accomplish a formulation of principles whereby knowledge and notions of the BDMA can best serve jurisdictions? overall aims, mandates and purposes. Methods consists of a mix of qualitative and quantitative measures. The project produces a book with guidelines for a practical implementation of neuroscientific research in dealing with addictions. These guidelines take into account ethical considerations and the perspective of multiple stakeholders. It advances the research on addictions by creating and testing a novel instrument for measuring BDMA-related attitudes.The findings of this project also gives feedback to neuroscientific addiction research itself by showing what is expected and what is needed from this field.


BDMA, governance, ethical guidelines

Call topic

ELSA of Neuroscience

Proposed runtime

2018 - 2022

Project team

Matilda Hellman (Coordinator)
Finland (AKA)
Patricia Conrod
Canada (INMHA)
Hendershot Christian
Canada (INMHA)
Sarah Forberger
Germany (BMBF)