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Prof. Dr. Katrin Giel

Organization: University Hospital Tübingen


Osianderstrasse 5
72076 Tübingen

Phone number: +49 (0)7071 29 86719

Department: Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy

Position: Head of Research Group

Area: CIN Members

Field of Research

Our group is interested in psychobiological mechanisms in the regulation of eating behavior, especially the framework of impulsivity, including concepts such as reward sensitivity, inhibitory control and emotion regulation. We are studying these mechanisms across the whole spectrum of body weight, especially in extreme weight conditions such as underweight, as it is seen in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, and overweight/obesity. We are aiming at a translation research approach by using results from experimental studies as a basis for the development of novel and innovative treatment/training approaches for eating and weight disorders. A second focus of our work is on body image, also especially in extreme weight conditions, and how this can be assessed with novel techniques, e.g. using virtual reality applications.


In our experimental studies, we are using different psychophysiological and brain imaging techniques, assessing e.g. attentional processing of food cues or inhibitory control in response to food cues. Methods include e.g. eye tracking, EEG, EMG, MEG, NIRS and fMRI.


Anorexia nervosa; binge eating; body image; eating behavior; eating disorders; emotion regulation; impulsivity; obesity; reward sensitivity


Giel KE, Herrmann-Werner A, Mayer J, Diehl K, Schneider S, Thiel A, Zipfel S for the GOAL study group. Eating disorder pathology in elite adolescent athletes. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 2016; 49(6):553-562.

O’Hara C, Keyes A, Renwick B, Giel KE, Campbell I, Schmidt U. Evidence that illness-compatible cues are rewarding in women recovered from anorexia nervosa: A study of the effects of dopamine depletion on eye-blink startle responses. PLoS ONE, 2016; 11(10):e0165104.

Zipfel S, Giel KE, Bulik CM, Hay P, Schmidt U. Anorexia nervosa: Aetiology, assessment and treatment. The Lancet Psychiatry, 2015; 2(12):1099-111.

Leehr EJ, Krohmer K, Schag K, Dresler T, Zipfel S, Giel KE. Emotion regulation model in binge eating disorder and obesity - a systematic review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2015; 49C:125-134.

Zipfel S, Wild B, Groß G, Friederich HC, Teufel M, Schellberg D, Giel KE, et al. Focal psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, and optimised treatment as usual in outpatients with anorexia nervosa (ANTOP study): randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 2014; 383: 127-137.

Schag K, Teufel M, Junne F, Preissl H, Hautzinger M, Zipfel S, Giel KE. Impulsivity in binge eating disorder: Food cues elicit increased reward responses and disinhibition. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8(10):e76542.

Giel KE, Friederich HC, Teufel M, Hautzinger M, Enck P, Zipfel S. Attentional processing of food pictures in individuals with anorexia nervosa – an eye-tracking study. Biological Psychiatry, 2011; 69: 661-667.