Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Center for Studies of Addiction

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Brain-Behavioral Vulnerabilities Laboratory


Clinical Studies

Click on the links below to find out more about the research studies for which you may qualify:


Study Name:  Real-Time fMRI Feedback Training for Cocaine Craving

Funding Source:  National Institutes for Health (NIH)/ National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Objective: The overall goal of the Real-time fMRI Feedback Training study is to determine whether providing visual feedback from “executive control” regions in the brain can help patients learn to block or reduce the disruptive effects of drug cues, including the ability of these cues to trigger drug motivation. 

Diagnosis or Problem: Cocaine Dependence

Age:  18-60 years

Study Involves: A 7-10 day inpatient stay, 4 fMRI scans plus 8 weeks of behavioral therapy

Duration: 8 weeks of treatment

Study Status: Currently not recruiting

Contact Information:



Study Name: Biomarkers of Disease and Response to Treatment in Opioid Addiction (XRNT/XRM)
1-215-222-3200 x177


Diagnosis: Opioid dependence

Age: 18-55 years

Study Involves: Three monthly injections of naltrexone (Vivitrol) plus weekly psychosocial treatment; Participation in up to 3 fMRI scans throughout treatment

Duration: 3 months of treatment plus 1 month of follow-up

Study status: Active - recruiting participants



Study Name: Effects of Varenicline on Smoking Behavior (VSMK)

Diagnosis or Problem: Nicotine dependence

Age: 18-60 years

Study Involves: Varenicline or placebo (double-blind), 2 fMRI scans, plus weekly monitoring meetings

Duration: 8 weeks of treatment (including 2 fMRI scans) plus 1 week of follow-up

Study Status: Active - recruiting patients

Contact Information:
Telephone: 1-215-222-3200 x199


Study Name: Use of SPECT to examine DAT genotype in smokers (DDAT)

Diagnosis or Problem: Nicotine dependence

Age: 18-60 years

Study Involves: 2 SPECT scans (one sated and one withdrawal session)

Duration: 4 visits (including 2 SPECT scans)

Study Status: Not currently recruiting


Study Name: Input of genotype on brain and behavioral responses to baclofen in smokers

Diagnosis or Problem: Nicotine dependence

Age: 18-60 years

Study Involves: Baclofen, 2 fMRI scans, plus weekly monitoring

Duration: 3 weeks of treatment (including 2 fMRI scans) plus 1 week of follow-up

Study Status: Active - recruiting patients

Contact Information: 
Telephone: 1-215-222-3200 x204



Study Name:  Neural Substrates of Internet Video Garming Addiction

Objecive: We hope to gain a better understanding of the neurological and behavioral similarities between individuals with problematic online game use and individuals with substance dependence disorders.

: Two groups of participants: (1) Gamers whose quality of life has been significantly impacted by frequent multiplayer online gaming (Internet Use Disorder related to Internet Gaming) and (2) a control group of recreational online gamers

: 18 to 50 years

Study Involves
: Willingness to play 30 minutes of online games; participation in 1 fMRI scan

: 2 visits

Study status
: Pending

Contact Information:

215-222-3200 ext. 120


Study Name: Brain Substrates of Affect Regulation (BSAR)

Diagnosis: N/A

Age: 30-49 years (African-American males only)

Study Involves
: 1 fMRI scan

4 visits (including 1 fMRI scan)

Study status
: Closed


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