Putting the brain in disease prevention

Our research examines the social neuroscientific foundations of eating and other lifestyle behaviors. We are specifically interested in the role of the social brain in the consumption of calorie-dense food items beyond the boundaries of homeostatic need. The social neuroscience perspective places special emphasis on the social and ecological context in which behaviours occur, and so many of our studies involve systematic examination of these contemporaneously with eating-related brain processes.

In addition to our primary focus on knowledge generation around brain-behaviour relationships involving eating, we are equally interested in applications of such knowledge to the prevention of obesity and other chronic illnesses. As a consequence, we are broadly interested in conducting the foundational work necessary to import neuroscience methods into large, population-level data collection initiatives assessing lifestyle behaviours, risk factors, and sociodemographic variables.

Equipment and Facilities:

The Prevention Neuroscience Laboratory is equipped with a MagVenture MagPro x100 rTMS system (cTBS capable, with EMG), several mobile brain imaging systems (multichannel fNIRS), and facilities for standardized testing of food choice.

Where to find us:

We are located in Room 2105 Burt Matthews Hall (BMH). If you are here for a study, please take the Columbia Street entrance to the University, enter BMH from the main entrance on Ring Road; once inside, make a right turn and proceed upstairs to the lounge area on the second floor. A research assistant will meet you in the lounge area.

  1. June 25, 2019Brain Stimulation
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    Masters student Adrian Safati finds that contextual cues are important determinants of inhibitory brain stimulation effects on decision-making about food. You can read more about his findings as published this month in Brain Stimulation.

  2. June 21, 2019Course explores the social neuroscience of eating (and cooking?)
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    A new undergraduate course explores the latest research linking the brain and the experience of indulgent eating. ... And yes, you get to eat pancakes!

  3. June 1, 2019Special issue of SCAN
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    Announcing a new special issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience guest edited by PN Lab director, Dr. Peter Hall. Focused on "the social neurobiology of eating," this collection of empirical, methodological and theoretical papers will be published in early 2020.

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