NEMO Kennislink Live op dinsdag 13 februari: Controle over onze wil

NEMO Kennislink Live over goede voornemens, doorzettingsvermogen en de illusie van (zelf)beheersing

Controle over onze wil
Waarom kan jij wat ik niet kan? Met de jaarwisseling waren onze voornemens zó oprecht, maar inmiddels hebben velen moeten constateren dat gewoontes sterker zijn dan onze wil. Toch lukt het sommigen wél om zichzelf te veranderen. Hoe doen zij dat? En: wat maakt het allemaal zo moeilijk om te doen wat we eigenlijk willen? Kunnen we onze wil niet wat beter beheersen? Op dinsdagavond 13 februari praten drie experts onder leiding van Desiree Hoving tijdens NEMO Kennislink Live met het publiek over de vraag of we onze wil onder controle kunnen krijgen. Toegang is gratis.

Experts aan het woord
Tijdens deze editie van NEMO Kennislink Live spreken we met wetenschappers die vanuit verschillende perspectieven nadenken over goede voornemens, doorzettingsvermogen en (zelf)beheersing. Dit keer: Wouter de Jong, Sanne de Wit en Vana Hutter.

Wouter de Jong publiceerde dit jaar het boek Mindgym, sportschool voor je geest. Deze van oorsprong jurist en acteur begon in 2013 met het volgen van mindfulness-trainingen, onder meer aan de Vrije Universiteit. Sindsdien geeft hij mentale trainingen om jezelf beter te laten doen wat je echt belangrijk vindt en die ook nog eens wetenschappelijk onderbouwd zijn.

Sanne de Wit werkt als psycholoog aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en is daar hoofdonderzoeker bij het Habit Lab. Daar onderzoekt ze onder meer hoe we onze goede voornemens het beste kunnen laten slagen. Zo ontdekte ze dat de ene mens zijn oude gewoontes makkelijker vervangt door nieuwe gewoontes dan de andere.

Vana Hutter is als docent en onderzoeker in de sportpsychologie verbonden aan de Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Ze begeleidde zowel top- als breedtesporters bij de mentale kant van trainen en presteren. Volgens haar is zelfregulatie, het vermogen om acties, emoties en gedachten te sturen, essentieel om je doelen te bereiken. Niet alleen voor sporters, maar voor ieder mens.

Programma
19.30 – 20.00 uur: Ontvangst
20.00 – 22.00 uur: Gesprek met wetenschappers en publiek
22.00 – 22.30 uur: Borrel

Toegang is gratis en aanmelden kan via dit formulier.

www.nemokennislink.nl/activiteiten/controle-over-onze-wil/

New article: neural basis of the effect of food-associated cues on choice

In this neuroimaging study, we investigated the effect of environmental stimuli on food choices (using a Pavlovian-instrumental transfer paradigm). We replicated earlier studies that found that sating participants on a particular food immediately reduces their responding to obtain this food in a computerized task. However, when food-associated (Pavlovian) stimuli are presented in the background, these will bias responding towards the signaled food regardless of satiation. Next, we related behavioral performance to multimodal MRI. The biasing effect of food-associated stimuli was related to brain activity in the posterior putamen and functional coupling with amygdala, and individual differences in gray matter in premotor cortex. This brain network was previously implicated in inflexible, outcome-insensitive habits. On the other hand, we found that goal-directed behavior in the absence of food-associated cues was related to brain activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex and individual differences in white-matter tract connectivity with the caudate. Therefore, this study provides evidence for dissociable neural networks that subserve inflexible, stimulus-guided behavior versus goal-directed action.

van Steenbergen, H., Watson, P., Wiers, R.W., Hommel, B., & de Wit, S. (in press). Dissociable corticostriatal circuits underlie goal-directed versus cue-elicited habitual food seeking after satiation: Evidence from a multimodal MRI study. European Journal of Neuroscience.
DOI: 10.1111/ejn.13586

For a commentary on this article, see: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.13617/pdf

Impressions of the March for Science

The March for Science was a great success in bringing scientists and non-scientists together, and making our voice heard. In fact, we talked to so many interested people that we almost lost our voices by the end of the day! Below some impressions of the day…











New article: Stimulus control over food-seeking in obesity

Our environment is full of cues signaling the availability of tasty, but often unhealthy, foods. In this paper, Poppy and colleagues report a recent study that examined the effect of food-associated stimuli on choice behavior in participants with healthy weight versus severe obesity. During a computerized test, participants were exposed to Pavlovian cues predictive of food pictures, and we examined their biasing effect on instrumental choice. For example, would a cue associated with crisps lead to a higher response rate for crisps (as opposed to, for example, lettuce)? Obese participants were indeed found to be more sensitive to high-calorie food cues relative to low-calorie cues. In contrast, healthy-weight individuals did not show a difference between the two food types. Therefore, this study supports the clinical relevance of this associative mechanism, and suggests that severely obese individuals are particularly sensitive to high-calorie food cues whereas low-calorie food cues have little effect on their behavior.

Follow this link to access the paper.

Reference: Watson, P. Wiers, R.W., Hommel, B., Gerdes, V.E.A., de Wit, S. (2017). Stimulus Control over Action for Food in Obese versus Healthy-weight Individuals, Frontiers in Psychology – Eating Behavior, doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00580

Follow this link to the Dutch press release

Poppy’s PhD defense is coming up: 21st of April!

Poppy Watson will defend her PhD thesis entitled ‘From Outcomes to Actions: fundamental mechanisms in reward seeking’ on Thursday 21st of April at 10am in the Agnietenkapel (LinkToDigitalDissertation). Poppy conducted her PhD at the Dept. of Developmental Psychology at UvA, under supervision of promotoren Prof. Reinout Wiers, Prof. Bernhard Hommel, and as co-promoter and daily supervisor Dr. Sanne de Wit. After her PhD, she has a postdoc position in the HabitLab.

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Published in Brain: Enhanced habit formation in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

Delorme, C., Salvador, A.,  Valabrègue, R., Roze, E., Palminteri, S., Vidailhet, M., de Wit, S., Robbins, T.W.,  Hartmann, A., & Worbe, Y. (2016). Enhanced habits formation in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Brain, 605-615,doi: dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awv307

Link: brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/139/2/605.long

For a scientific commentary by Harvey Singer, see:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awv378 312-316

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Article: ‘Implementation intention and planning interventions in health psychology: Recommendations from the Synergy expert group for research and practice’

Aukje participated in this Synergy meeting that brought together international experts on the topic of implementation intentions (August 2014), and participated in the writing of a joint paper with recommendations for research and practice:

‘Implementation intention and planning interventions in health psychology: Recommendations from the Synergy expert group for research and practice’

Reference: Hagger, M. S., Luszczynska, A., de Wit, J., Benyamini, Y., Burkert, S., Chamberland, P.-E., Chater, A. M., Dombrowski, S., van Dongen, A., French, D. P., Gauchet, A., Hankonen, N., Karekla, M., Kinney, A. Y., Kwasnicka, D., Lo, S. H., López-Roíg, S., Meslot, C., Marques, M. M., Neter, E., M., Plass A., Potthoff, S., Rennie, L., Scholz, U., Stadler, G., Stolte, E., A., ten Hoor G., Verhoeven, A. A. C., Wagner, M., Oettingen, G., Sheeran, P. and Gollwitzer, P. M. (in press). Implementation intention and planning interventions in health psychology: Recommendations from the Synergy expert group for research and practice. Psychology & Health. doi:10.1080/08870446.2016.1146719

Link to article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08870446.2016.1146719#.VugkdfkrLrc

Link to meeting: http://www.ehps.net/content/implementation-intention-and-action-planning-interventions-health-psychology-evaluating

Aukje presents preliminary findings of Healthyways coaching project at ARPH conference

At the ARPH (Association for Researchers in Psychology and Health) congress in Maastricht during the 28th-29th of January 2016, Aukje gave a presentation on the preliminary findings of Healthyways coaching of eating habits. For this (still ongoing) project she recruited female volunteers (via fitness centers and our website) who aimed to improve their eating habits. Her presentation was entitled: “Planning to change unhealthy snacking and the role of mental associations”

Link to ARPH 2016: www.arphconference.nl

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