- - Emotional eating
- - Executive functioning & cognitive control
- - Learning/conditioning processes
- - Obesity
- - Reward value of eating
My research is aimed understanding causes and mechanisms of eating behaviour and food choice. I’m working on different research lines:
- Picky eating: Why do children reject certain foods, sometimes without ever tasted them? What makes some children very picky and others easy eaters? I found that tactile sensitivity plays a role in acceptance of food and that exposure to the feeling of a non-food texture by hands can increase the acceptance of a food with the same texture. Besides the role of texture, I’m interested in how expectancies, emotions and cognitions influence picky eating.
- Environment, inhibitory control and overeating: We live in a land of plenty, with high caloric foods omnipresent and heavily advertised. While some people can easily resist the temptation of eating too much, others find this very difficult. I’m interested how state and trait differences in impulsivity and response inhibition interact with environmental cues and influences food intake. Moreover, we test if computer trainings can help people to inhibit their responses towards food.
- The role of boredom in excessive behaviour: To be bored is a very negative experience and motivates people to look for external stimulation. I’m interested in the role of boredom in maladaptive behaviours, like overeating, drug use or even self-injurious behaviour. We found that participants in our lab rather administer painful stimuli then enduring the tedious monotony of being bored. This shows boredom is an emotion that should be taken seriously.
I am happy to be the coordinator of the nicest course of our bachelor: the Research Practical. In this course, students perform their own study within small groups, from thinking of a research question, testing it and writing a research report. Moreover, they present their work during a fantastic final Research Symposium.In addition, I’m involved in the coordination of the courses Addiction and Statistics. I am a PBL-tutor in several Bachelor and Master courses and supervise(d) numerous Bachelor and Master thesis of several programs of our university.
An up to date list can be found here.