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From learning a new language to becoming a gambler, positive and negative consequences of our actions have a great impact on our choices. This evening we will discover how feedback from the environment can attract our attention and shape our behaviour.
Motivating behavioural change: carrot or the stick?
Dr Joe Galea (Senior lecturer in the school of psychology at the University of Birmingham)
Sir Alex Ferguson was famous for his half-time team talks in which he would scream and shout in order to motivate performance change. However, he was also known to be a fatherly figure who heaped praise on his players. In the same manner teachers, coaches and therapists use a range of rewarding and punishing motivational techniques in order to optimise motor performance. How, when and with whom should reward and punishment-based feedback be used? Using examples from lab experiments, sports coaching and stroke rehabilitation Joe will attempt to shed some light on this complex question.
Why we eat what we eat: the brain and appetite control
Dr Maartje Spetter (Nutritional neuroscientist and research fellow at the University of Birmingham)
Why we choose certain foods is a complex question that scientists all over the world have been trying to answer for decades. Eating behaviour is a very complicated process that is influenced by both internal and external cues; did you just exercise, out for dinner with friends, or is it your favourite snack that is in front of you? All these factors come together in the brain where the ultimate decision to start, stop or continue eating a certain food is made. Maartje will talk about the neural mechanism behind these food choices and why some people tend to overeat and others do not.