Danni Peng-Li
January 2022

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).

 

 

Danni Peng-Li
Sensory and Consumer Neuroscience
PhD Candidate
Aarhus University & Chinese Academy of Sciences
Portrait of Danni Peng-Li

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