Conflict between “good” intentions and more automatic attentional processes and the link to maladaptive reward-seeking behaviours.
Prior learning about signals of reward can guide attention and behavioural choice - even when we are motivated to ignore such signals. For example, when determined to avoid alcohol, the presence of a beer sponsor’s logo during a televised sporting match can be difficult to ignore. Sometimes, the attention afforded to reward cues is in direct conflict with our intentions. Dr Watson will discuss a body of work highlighting the conflict between intentions and more automatic attentional processes and the relationship with maladaptive reward-seeking behaviour, for example, as seen in overeating and addiction.
Dr Poppy Watson is a DECRA research fellow at UNSW, Sydney. Her research examines how reward cues influence the prioritisation of attentional resources and the conflict that can arise with goal-directed control. She completed her PhD at the University of Amsterdam, under the supervision of Dr Sanne de Wit, Prof. Reinout Wiers and Prof. Bernhard Hommel. During this time she conducted neuropsychological and behavioural research examining the influence that reward cues have on behavioural choice. She worked as a postdoc in the lab of Dr Sanne de Wit (investigating habit formation) before moving to UNSW Sydney in 2017 as a postdoc working with Dr Steve Most and Associate Professor Mike Le Pelley.
UNSW profile: https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/dr-poppy-watson