My research focuses on understanding nutritional influences on cognition, affect and self – regulation.  Examples include (1) understanding the role of dietary carbohydrates and glucoregulation in the onset of mental disorders (2) determining the cognitive, affective and psychological consequences of minor changes in hydration (3) examining how the microbiome impacts on emotional behaviour.  I have a particular interest in unravelling the interoceptive, autonomic and neural underpinning of affect regulation and how diet may impact upon these processes.  In order to achieve these goals my research utilises methods spanning the social, behavioural and biological sciences.

Areas of Expertise

  • Nutrition
  • Affect regulation
  • Interoception
  • Glycaemic control
  • Hydration
  • Psychophysiology
  • Cardiovascular functioning

Publications

  1. & Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Body Weight. Perspectives on Psychological Science 12
  2. & Getting to the heart of the matter: Does aberrant interoceptive processing contribute towards emotional eating?. PLOS ONE 12(10), e0186312
  3. & The glycemic load of meals, cognition and mood in middle and older aged adults with differences in glucose tolerance: A randomized trial. e-SPEN Journal 9(4), e147-e154.
  4. & We should be using nonlinear indices when relating heart-rate dynamics to cognition and mood. Scientific Reports 5, 16619
  5. & The use of moderated mediated analysis to study the influence of hypo-hydration on working memory. Nutrición Hospitalaria 33(3)

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Teaching

  • PSA113 Biological Psychology

    This module provides an introduction to biological psychology and the influence of the biological approach on the wider discipline of psychology. Through a series of lectures and tutorials this module will consider the structure and function of the brain and central nervous system and how they underpin human behaviour. The importance of understanding the role of hormones and neurotransmitters on physiology and behaviour as well as the biological basis of individual differences will be covered. These fundamental elements will be explored through by key topics such as emotions, motivated behaviour, language, sleep, learning and memory, and schizophrenia. The importance of understanding evolutionary psychology and gene environment interactions will also be integrated throughout the module.

  • PSY113 Biological Psychology

    This module provides an introduction to biological psychology and the influence of the biological approach on the wider discipline of psychology. Through a series of lectures and tutorials this module will consider the structure and function of the brain and central nervous system and how they underpin human behavior. The importance of understanding the role of hormones and neurotransmitters on physiology and behavior as well as the biological basis of individual differences will be covered. These fundamental elements will be explored through key topics such as emotions, motivated behavior, language, sleep, learning and memory, and schizophrenia. The importance of understanding evolutionary psychology and gene environment interactions will also be integrated throughout the module.

  • PSY319 Final Year Independent Research Project

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. The research topic is decided in conjunction with supervisors and Research topics. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • PSY325 Independent Research Project - Joint Honours

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society.

  • PSY358 Psychobiology of Sport and Exercise

    This module will examine psychobiological factors as they relate to exercise and sport. Questions addressed will include: Why do athletes fail to perform under pressure? Are athletes born or made? What are the long term consequences of sports related concussion? Are athletes at an increased risk of eating disorders and drug abuse? Can physical activity / exercise be used to enhance mental health? An emphasis on mental skills training (e.g. imagery / biofeedback) will be evident throughout the module.

Supervision

  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MPhil
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young
    Other supervisor: Prof David Benton
  • ''The psychosocial impact of Venous Thrombeombolism (VTE)'''''''' and developing and testing a brief cost-effective intervention to minimise distress'' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young
    Other supervisor: Prof Paul Bennett
  • A Multimodal Investigation of the effects of fronto-cerebellar transcranial stimulation (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young
    Other supervisor: Dr Claire Hanley
    Other supervisor: Dr Frederic Boy
    Other supervisor: Dr Hana Burianova
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young
    Other supervisor: Prof David Benton