Research Groups

Georgiadis group

The research in our group focuses on the following two very different topics.

  1. Gamification in medical education
  2. Brain network shifts and natural human reward

These both research lines share a focus on reward and motivation, and both connect to the Healthy Ageing theme of the UMCG.

  • People
  • Publications
  • Gamification
  • Brain network
  • Janniko Georgiadis PhD Visit

    Head of the Section Anatomy and Medical Physiology

    Research fields

    Positive affect (sexual behavior), motivational processes in biomedical education, development of education technology

    Affiliated researchers
    Associate researchers
    Nikos Bagias
    Christian Heinen
    Knut Biber PhD
    Carola Haven MD
    Ruby Otter-Drost PhD
    Yourik van Overloop
    Pepijn Schoonen PhD
    Eric Sietsema MSc
    Group leaders
    In memoriam
    Klaas van Linschoten
    PhD students
    Gerben Ruesink BSc
    Ronald Meijer
    • All Publications: mepa page or  pdf Selected Publications:
      1. Kortekaas R, Nanetti L, Overgoor M, De Jong BM, Georgiadis JR. (2015). Central somatosensory networks respond to a de novo innervated penis in spina bifida: a pilot study of three cases. Journal of Sexual Medicine
      2. Borg C, de Jong PJ, Georgiadis JR. (2014) Subcortical BOLD responses during visual sexual stimulation vary as a function of implicit porn associations in women. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
      3. Borg C, Georgiadis JR, Weijmar Schultz WW, Spoelstra K, Renken RJ, de Jong PJ. (2014) Brain activity during sexual penetration versus disgust stimuli in women with genito-pelvic pain disorder. PLoS ONE
      4. Georgiadis JR, Kringelbach ML, Pfaus JG. (2012) Sex for fun: a synthesis of human and animal neurobiology. Nature Reviews Urology
      5. Georgiadis JR & Kringelbach ML. (2012) The human sexual response cycle: neuroimaging evidence linking sex to other pleasures. Progress in Neurobiology
      6. Georgiadis JR, Farrell MJ, Boessen R, Denton DA, Gavrilescu M, Kortekaas R, Renken RJ, Hoogduin JM, Egan GF. (2010) Dynamic subcortical blood flow during male sexual activity with ecological validity: a perfusion fMRI study. Neuroimage
      7. Georgiadis JR, Reinders AA, Paans AM, Renken RJ, Kortekaas R. (2009) Men versus women on sexual brain function: prominent differences during tactile genital stimulation, but not during orgasm. Human Brain Mapping
      8. Van Netten JJ, Georgiadis JR, Nieuwenburg A, Kortekaas R. (2008)   8-13 Hz fluctuations in rectal pressure are an objective marker of orgasm in women. Archives of Sexual Behavior
      9. Georgiadis JR, Kortekaas R, Kuipers R, Nieuwenburg A, Pruim J, Reinders AA, Holstege G. (2006) Regional cerebral blood flow changes associated with clitorally-induced orgasm in women. European Journal of Neuroscience
      10. Holstege G, Georgiadis JR, Paans AM, Meiners LC, van der Graaf FH, Reinders AA. (2003) Brain activation during human male ejaculation. The Journal of Neuroscience,
  • Gamification in medical education:

    In our educational research we ask fundamental and applied questions about undergraduate and post-graduate teaching of basic medical knowledge, anatomy and physiology in particular. Having a handle on the structure and function of the human body is essential for health care professionals. Thinking about the most effective and efficient way to educate and train this competency stimulates better teaching, and thereby aligns with the Healthy Ageing objective of the UMCG through better trained students and professionals. How do we go about this? Acquiring anatomical and physiological competency increasingly depends on self-regulated learning and on distance learning (e.g. e-leaning). The challenge is to design e-learning such that self-regulated learning is supported and encouraged, instead of complicated and discouraged. We see motivation and context as important mediators in this process. We investigate whether game design principles (‘gamification’) can help us to better contextualize teaching modules so that they better target learning goals, and better appeal to individual differences in motivation. This research is carried out in close collaboration with prof. dr. Debbie Jaarsma of the UMCG’s Institute for Medical Education.

    The principles above guide efforts by our group to innovate e-learning. Two main initiatives are:

    1. The virtual dissection room increases the time a student can interact with high-fidelity human anatomy. Because virtual and real teaching situations look and feel very similar, the efficiency of student-teacher contact is expected to increase markedly. Also, the impact of anatomical prosections will increase, because more students will spend more hours studying them. This initiative is being developed in collaboration with VIEMR.
    2. Game of guilds, a Duo Lingo-like application to seamlessly learn to master anatomical terminology.


  • Brain network shifts and natural human reward:

    Our second line of research concerns the neurobiology and neuropsychology of human reward. We investigate human sexual responsivity as a model to understand core neurobiological and neuropsychological principles of normal human reward, as sex is one of the strongest motivators in nature. Specifically, we use sexual arousal and genital sensation to study how particular configurations of brain networks can help explain how people naturally transition between very different physiological, behavioural, and reward states. Sexual behaviour, because of the occurrence of such diametrically opposed states (e.g. arousal, de-arousal) in a single behavioural sequence, is uniquely suited to study how the brain accomplishes these shifts. The research described can offer fresh new insights into clinical problems characterized by changes in reward processing or state transitions, including depression, a major Healthy Ageing topic. This research is carried out in collaboration with prof. dr. Robert Schoevers of the UMCG’s Psychiatry department.

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