The IMAGEN study is a large‐scale, longitudinal, imaging genetic study that 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 2,000 young people and their parents from the age of 14, collecting data from brain imaging, cognitive and behavioural assessments, questionnaires and blood sampling.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London

Geographic coverage
United Kingdom - London & Nottingham
Ireland, France, Germany

Start date


Sample type
Cohort study

Sample details
Participants were recruited from high schools at age 14. To obtain a diverse sample in terms of socio-economic status, emotional and cognitive development, private, state-funded and special units were targeted equally. To maximize ethnic (Caucasian) homogeneity, at each study centre recruitment focused on geographical areas with minimal ethnic diversity. Full inclusion and exclusion criteria are detailed in Schumann and colleagues (2010).

Sample size at recruitment

Sample size at most recent sweep
~1,200 (Follow Up 2, age 19)


Age at recruitment
14 years

Cohort year of birth


Data access
Contact study team - proposal

Genetic data collected

Linkage to administrative data

Additional information


Related Themes
Biomarkers, cognitive measures, cross-national comparison, genetic data, personality measures, trauma, technology, COVID

Reference paper

Schumann G, Loth E, Banaschewski T, et al. (2010). The IMAGEN study: reinforcement-related behaviour in normal brain function and psychopathology. Molecular Psychiatry, 15.

European Commission
European Research Council
Medical Research Council
National Institute for Health Research
Swedish Research Council
German Federal Ministry of Education & Research
National Institutes of Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Mental health measures timeline
NO! That's fine
This website is using anonymised Google analytics to help us work out how to make it better! More details