The Emergence of Self-Awareness
How do children learn that certain signals in their gut mean that they are hungry and other signals mean that they are anxious?
Our laboratory is interested in how individuals learn to detect and decipher the signals from their bodies (e.g., of hunger, of emotional experience) and use these signals to guide their behavior. We study individuals for whom this learning somehow goes awry: individuals struggling with eating disorders (e.g. anorexia nervosa, ARFID, selective eating, pediatric binge eating), those with chronic medical conditions that may disrupt or complicate this learning (e.g. pediatric gastrointestinal disorders or pediatric cancer) or neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Read more...
Amplifying Black Stories
If the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others are to serve as a tipping point to ablate racism and social injustice, then race must remain a constant part of our conversations, and acting against racism an omnipresent force guiding our actions. Towards this end, we want to elevate the voices and stories of Black individuals who have struggled with disordered eating or body image concerns. While there are numerous factors that may interfere with one’s ability to tune in and respond to individual needs such as hunger or emotions – core challenges of many with eating disorders - a history of stigma and injustice may seep in to disrupt the most personal of one’s relationships: to oneself.
We hope to learn from these stories: to gain understanding, to improve our listening, and to form partnerships aimed to develop strategies that improve the lives of Black individuals with eating disorders. There are many ways in which we think personal stories could advance how we treat Black individuals with eating disorders. In our survey below, there are options to choose how you would like your story to be told and what you would like your future involvement in this initiative to be: Read privately among our clinical team; posted on research and clinical community websites; shared through your participation in a forum to educate providers who treat eating disorders. You can also indicate whether you wish to hear about new initiatives as they arise.
If you feel comfortable doing so, we would be honored to hear your story. Click here if you are interested.
NOW RECRUITING PARTICIPANTS: Are you a parent of a 5- to 9-year-old with possible ARFID? This study hopes to develop a deeper understanding of which interventions for young children with ARFID work best to reduce selective eating.
If you are the parent of a sensitive/ selective eater (also referred to as Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) or an adult sensitive eater, click the button to join a study.
Some children are very selective in the foods they eat, seem to get full very easily, and/or seem like they are not interested in food. The Food Scientists study hopes to learn more about these children so that we can reduce selective eating.
If you have struggled with an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder either currently or in the past, click the button to learn of ongoing studies.