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 and clinical contexts in which they are needed around the world.

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. Oct. 18, 2019What links the brain, eating and policy?

    What links can be drawn between experimental brain stimulation research and public policy for primary and secondary prevention of obesity? A new paper explores this important topic.

  2. Oct. 11, 2019Teaching the neuroscience of primary prevention

    Does the brain, as a biological entity, have a place in public health practise? HLTH458 explores the role of the brain in facilitating healthy lifestyle patterns and the prevention of phyiscal illnesses.

  3. Sep. 30, 2019Special issue of SCAN

    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.

Read all news