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Research

Kamilah St. Paul

Position
PhD student

E-mail
Kamilah.stpaul@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Themes

  • - Anorexia Nervosa
  • - Brain processes
  • - Craving
  • - Executive functioning & cognitive control
  • - Reward value of eating

Hi! On June 15th 2018, I embarked on my PhD journey at Maastricht University.
I am currently working in the Clinical Psychological Science department of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN). My project is a collaboration between the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) and FPN.

My research aims to enhance understanding of the cognitive processes which are the driving force behind the development and perpetuation of Anorexia Nervosa (AN). I am looking to investigate the two prevailing theories in AN research, a) increased cognitive control in AN is presumed to suppress the desire for, and consumption of food in order to achieve the ‘ideal weight’, and b) maladaptations in reward processing mute or reverse positive neural network reactions to food thereby resulting in lack of desire to eat.

I am currently undertaking 2 research projects which seek to investigate the neural mechanisms underpinning food-choice and taste processing in persons with AN using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The first looks specifically at response patterns to visually presented palatable and unpalatable high caloric food images, while the second addresses neural reward responses to highly palatable (fat and sweet) taste stimuli in AN patients.

Prior to working at Maastricht University, I completed my MSc in Brain Imaging at the University of Nottingham, England and my BSc in Psychology at the University of the West Indies, Barbados.