Associate Professor

Peter Hall.

Contact information

Office: LHN 2731

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 38110


Website: Prevention Neuroscience Laboratory

Research interests

My research examines how the brain and social environment interact to produce risk for chronic disease. Understanding such interactions may better position us to prevent the onset of physical illnesses such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, as well as mental disorders such as depression, addictions and post-traumatic stress disorder. Our studies span the full age spectrum from childhood and adolescence to older adulthood.

Much of my lab’s research focuses on lifestyle behaviors (i.e., eating, sleep, substance use and exercise) because of the links that these behaviors have to the brain processes that confer risk for chronic disease. Methods used in our lab include neuroimaging (functional near infrared spectroscopy; fNIRS) and neuromodulation (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; rTMS), in both experimental and longitudinal study contexts.

My own background as a clinical psychologist with training in social psychology, neuroscience and population health, shapes the broad scope of our research activities. I welcome and supervise students from any of these backgrounds whom have a common interest in the brain and its role in primary prevention.

Funding for our research is provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).

Graduate supervision and student opportunities

I am currently accepting applications from graduate students with related research interests:

  • Food cravings and eating
  • Social neuroscience
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

  • Mobile brain imaging technology

  • Neuromodulation techniques

Graduate studies application details

Teaching interests

  • Social neuroscience (in physical health and mental health applications)
  • Social neurobiology of eating


BA, Psychology/Biology (Dalhousie University)

PhD, Clinical Psychology (University of Waterloo)

Selected publications

See lab website for extended list of publications.

* indicates trainee.

Lowe, C.J.*, Reichelt, A.C., & Hall, P.A. (2019). The prefrontal cortex and obesity: A health neuroscience perspective. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Hall, P.A., Bickel, W.K., Erickson, K.I., & Wagner, D.D. (2018). Neuroimaging, neuromodulation, and population health: The neuroscience of chronic disease prevention. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1428, 240-256.

Lowe, C.J.*, Staines, W.R., Manocchio, F.*, & Hall, P.A. (2018). The neurocognitive mechanisms underlying food cravings and snack food consumption. A combined continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) and EEG study. NeuroImage, 177, 45-58.

Luu, K.*, & Hall, P.A. (2017). Examining the acute effects of Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation on executive function and mood. Mindfulness, 8, 873–880.

Lowe, C.J.*, Safati, A.*, & Hall, P.A. (2017). The neurocognitive consequences of sleep restriction: A meta-analytic review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 80, 586-604.

Hall, P.A. (2016). Executive-control processes in high-calorie food consumption. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 91-98.

Marteau, T.M., & Hall, P.A. (2013). Breadlines, brains and behavior: Targeting executive functioning and environments may loosen the link between demography and destiny. British Medical Journal, 347:f6750.

University of Waterloo