Karina Rune's Thesis Presentation

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Karina Rune's Thesis Presentation

We invite you to attend the Thesis Presentation of Karina Rune, a Doctor of Philosophy candidate within the School of Social Sciences, in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.

Title: Attention Bias Modification Training Program toward Food Biases and Food Consumption: Results of a Randomised Controlled Trial 

Presenter: Karina Rune

When: Thursday, 26th July from 10-11am

Where: Building E, 1.03

Abstract: Western environments have been classified as obesogenic, characterised by an abundance of readily available highly palatable food products. Continual exposure to food in the environment is a likely contributor to unhealthy eating habits, and has been linked to increased levels of overweight and obesity (Swinburne et al., 2011). At a cognitive level, a heightened responsiveness to food-related cues manifests itself as attention bias, which is the propensity to seek out and attend selectively to certain information in the environment. Biased cognitive processing is thought to occur implicitly and without conscious awareness. Research has found that some individuals can show an impaired regulation of attentional processes and become excessively vigilant to food-related cues (e.g., Castellanos et al., 2009; Nijs, Muris, Euser, & Franken, 2010), which in turn may serve to increase consumption and lead to weight gain (Berridge, Richard, & DiFeliceantonio, 2010). Recently, a novel and innovative technique known as attention bias modification (ABM), has be applied to change food biases. However, the research is still in its infancy and limited by lack of control groups and long-term follow-up making it hard to draw inferences about the utility of ABM (e.g., Kemps, Tiggemann, & Elford, 2015; Kemps, Tiggemann, & Hollitt, 2014). The aim of the current thesis is twofold. First, the thesis sets out to investigate food biases in women and if these differed according to BMI status. Second, the thesis examines the effectiveness of ABM in changing attention allocation toward healthy foods. The effect of ABM on food consumption, weight loss/gain, and self-reported craving and eating style was also assessed. If successful, ABM may become a useful tool in a multifaceted program targeting healthy appetitive behaviour and weight management.

Bio: Karina Rune is a lecturer in psychology and current PhD candidate at USC. Prior to this, she completed an undergraduate degree in psychology at USC. Karina’s primary area of research is the role of biased information processing for food-related information. Recently, she has also collaborated on a joint project with QUT and the Australian Defence Force, investigating the effectiveness of ABM as a treatment tool for chronic pain in military personnel and veterans.

Should you have any questions about this event please contact FABHDR@usc.edu.au.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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