OCD and the Brain banner

About the Project

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is the fourth most common psychiatric illness and among the most debilitating. Despite this, it is often neglected and carries a lot of stigma.

Professor Tobias Hauser and his team investigate why OCD mostly emerges during adolescence, and how brain development contributes to OCD. A challenge that Prof Hauser and his team have identified in their work, is that there is often a disconnect between what people living with OCD are experiencing, and what the latest research is focusing on.

The OCD and the Brain project aimed to identify and address this knowledge gap. It was designed in collaboration with lived experts and delivered in partnership with OCD Action, the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), the OCD community and Creative Partners.


  • OCD and the Brain logo
  • Extract from a poem from the OCD and the Brain website
  • Silhouette
  • Brain cells

The aims of this project were to:

  1. Better understand how young people living with OCD and their parents/guardians view the brain’s role in OCD
  2. Better align research to the needs of the OCD community
  3. Co-produce effective resources about OCD and the Brain for young people living with OCD and their parents/guardians

The project had three distinct phases:

  • Creative Workshops: A series of explorative workshops created opportunities for young people living with OCD, their parents/guardians and researchers to share ideas and experiences about OCD.
  • Content Co-development: Based on insights from the workshops, the team worked closely with people with lived experience of OCD and our charity partners to co-develop an engaging digital hub which contains an animation, a toolkit with engaging visuals and information about what we currently know about OCD and the brain, OCD resources, and information about the project and the team behind it.
  • Launch and Dissemination: The final resources are now freely available online, are embedded within existing charity resources and networks, and have been disseminated via a joint digital campaign between UCL, OCD Action and the IOCDF. You can explore the digital hub here: https://ocdandthebrain.com/.


Find out more about the research!