I examine links between the brain, personality, and behavior—to better understand how people regulate their eating and emotions.

self-control of eating

Since that fateful day in the garden, we human beings have struggled to negotiate between fleeting, short-term pleasures and the lasting consequences of our decisions. For most of human history, self-control has primarily been a topic for philosophical inquiry and discussion. Recently, with the emergence of experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience, scientists have uncovered brain-behavior relationships underlying successful (and un-successful) control of our thoughts, desires, and behaviors. My research examines individual differences in how people respond to rewarding stimuli, such as appetizing foods, how they exert control over these responses, and the extent to which these processes are predictive of real world behaviors.

emotion regulation and health

Often, managing one's emotions is no small feat, for it's not always clear when and how to regulate emotional responses to life's many stressors. In this line of translational work, I'm assessing relationships between people's propensity to use various emotion regulation strategies and health outcomes. I'm also exploring the role of social and linguistic factors in these emotion–health pathways.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
— John Muir, Scottish-American Environmentalist