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. Young, H., Benton, D., Carter, N. The Effect of Chicken Extract on Mood, Cognition and Heart Rate Variability Nutrients 7 2 887 904
  2. Young, H., Watkins, H. Eating disinhibition and vagal tone moderate the postprandial response to glycemic load: a randomised controlled trial Scientific Reports 6 35740
  3. Young, H., Cousins, A., Watkins, H., Benton, D. Is the link between depressed mood and heart rate variability explained by disinhibited eating and diet? Biological Psychology 123 94 102
  4. Young, H., Benton, D. The effect of using isomaltulose (Palatinose™) to modulate the glycaemic properties of breakfast on the cognitive performance of children European Journal of Nutrition
  5. Young, H., BentonH. A., D., Benton, D., Benton, D., Young, H. Caffeine can decrease subjective energy depending on the vehicle with which it is consumed and when it is measured Psychopharmacology 228 2 243 254

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Teaching

  • 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.

  • PSY351 Nutrition and Behaviour

    After initially discussing both macro- and micro-nutrients their roles in the development of the brain and their influence on mood and cognition will be examined. The influence of diet at different stages of the entire life cycle will be considered: in particular in the early stages when the brain is developing and in the aging process. Specifically their role in the development of dementia will be discussed.

  • PSY358 Psychology of Sport and Exercise

    This module will examine psychological 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? What psychological factors contribute to expert performance? 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 the application of mental skills training (e.g. self-talk, imagery, biofeedback) will be evident throughout the module.

Supervision

  • Validating Heart Rate Variability as a Bio-marker to Study the Influence of a western diet and low inhibitory control on Physiological and Psychological Health from an introspective inference perspective. (current)

    Student name:
    MPhil
    Other supervisor: Prof David Benton
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young
  • A multimodal investigation of the effects of fronto-cerebellar transcranial stimulation«br /»«br /» (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young
    Other supervisor: Dr Claire Hanley
    Other supervisor: Dr Hana Burianova
  • The influence of various nutrients on glyceimic control, mood, and cognition in older adults. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David Benton
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young
  • Affect of Interoceptive awareness and Alexithymia on performance (current)

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