What do you work on?
My research spans the fields of multisensory perception and food-related decision-making.
I am particularly interested in the underlying psychophysical mechanisms of these constructs, including the attentional, emotional, and cognitive processes associated.
Therefore, I have been employing various biometric measures, such as eye-tracking, electrodermal activity (EDA), and electroencephalography (EEG), in combination with subjective self-report methods to answer my research questions.
What did you do using Gorilla and what did you find?
I have used Gorilla to conduct fast and efficient online studies as a replacement of on-site laboratory studies, which were practically impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has also served as a fundamental building block for the study design and stimuli choice of my subsequent EEG study.
In particular, I investigated the impact of different environmental sounds on distinct food reward metrics using an adapted version of the Leeds Food Preference Questionnaire (LFPQ). Here, Gorilla made it readily accessible and convenient to design and adapt the LFPQ for my specific needs. For example, I could flexibly implement and collect data for several response types, e.g., visual analogue scales, binary choices, and reaction times, which are essential for the LFPQ.
This did not only allow me to review the most optimal visual (food images) and auditory (environmental soundscapes) stimuli for the EEG study, but at the same time, it provided valuable insights into consumers’ food reward processes during exposure to background sounds. An interesting result we found was that nature sounds increased the ‘liking’ of healthy foods, whereas restaurant noise decreased response times of all food (wanting) choices.
Has this study been published?
Yes! You can find it in Physiology & Behavior.
When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing?
I am a dedicated ‘foodie’ who loves to try out new interesting foods from all around the world. Also, I love physical exercise and sports, and at the moment I am very much into calisthenics, which is basically street gymnastics.
For you, what is the stand-out feature in Gorilla?
In comparison to other online platforms, the features of accurately measuring reaction times as well as playing sounds in the background throughout the experiment are unprecedented.
What is the most exciting piece of work or research you’ve ever done?
I would say that both my MSc project on the neuroanatomical correlates of food addiction using structural MRI (voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging), which has been published in Appetite, as well as my most recent PhD study using EEG and EDA to explore the effect of ambient noise and cognitive regulation on the neurophysiology of cognitive load, emotional arousal, and food cravings (under review in this special issue of Frontiers in Neuroscience) are the two most exciting works!
How did Gorilla make your life or research better, easier or faster?
In an era of COVID-19, online alternatives have simply been a must. Here, Gorilla has made it possible for me to collect actual behavioral data in an extremely efficient and inexpensive way!
Who or what originally inspired you to work in your field of research?
I believe that my almost inherent fascination for (eating) food and how our minds and brains are affecting it has driven this research. Furthermore, my supervisors from both my MSc and PhD studies have been important and inspiring people who have fostered this fascination in my academic life.
How do you think online research is going to change your field?
It is already changing the field with its increasing flexibility! Of course, for questionnaires, it is still an important way of collecting data, but now behavioral and even physiological and biometric data is accessible through online mobile devices and software.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in behavioural science/research?
If possible, apply multimodal methods to obtain a more holistic picture of the phenomenon instead of constricting to a single modality or metric. Particularly, for behavioral science, investigating both psychological and physiological mechanisms of the behavior can be valuable.
Are there any online courses, podcasts, discussion groups or resources that you’d recommend to others?
The iMotions software is a great tool for integrating data from multiple sources/biosensors (https://imotions.com).