In the Lab

Fighting Obesity by Studying the Brain

Janurary 25, 2011

Obesity is an epidemic that ravages individuals and weighs upon society as well. At Amherst College, John-Paul Baird, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, has spent the last year eight years exploring neural networks and brain chemicals that impact eating behavior. These chemicals, called neuropeptides, influence feelings of hunger and fullness, or satiety. Professor Baird's lab is working to characterize how some of these neuropeptides function in certain areas of the brain to influence food intake. The longer-term goal of basic research such as this is to identify potential therapeutic compounds that could contribute to the treatment of obesity and other eating- and metabolic-related disorders.

Work in Progress

The Mismeasure of Woman

British Girls with Body Misperceptions More Likely To Experience Symptoms of Bulimia than American Peers, Amherst College Researcher Finds

January 21, 2008           

AMHERST, Mass. – Both American and British girls develop a host of unhealthy misperceptions about their bodies as early as their adolescent years, but young women from England who believe their figures are not ideal are more likely to experience symptoms of bulimia, new research by Amherst College psychology professor Catherine Sanderson and collaborators from the London School of Economics (including Amherst Class of 2000 graduate Jenny Mutterperl Wallier) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst has found.