Dr. Natalie Loxton, Griffith University

Dr. Natalie Loxton

Dr. Natalie Loxton, Griffith University


Reward sensitivity and cued food consumption


In this presentation I report on a series of experimental studies investigating the associations between trait reward sensitivity and eating when exposed to food cues. In each study, undergraduate participants viewed a 30-minute TV program with embedded with either “fast food” advertisements or non-food advertisements. Reward sensitivity consistently moderated the effect of food cue exposure and eating, with greater reward sensitivity associated with an increased desire to eat, and greater consumption of chocolates when exposed to embedded food advertisements. These studies suggest that trait reward sensitivity may serve as a potential (and easily assessed) marker of risk for over-eating in response to environmental food cues and provides one avenue for personality-tailored interventions.

Speaker bio: Dr Loxton is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University. Her primary research investigates reward processes in the development and maintenance of addictive behaviours. Using a personality perspective she is currently interested in psychological factors that maintain and exacerbates overconsumption of appetitive food, and other excessive behaviours. Her research involves both questionnaire studies and the use of experimental paradigms.