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Margaret Westwater, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Summary

It is increasingly recognized that psychiatric disorders like anorexia nervosa are characterized by both psychological disturbances, as well as altered metabolic functioning. However, interactions between metabolic and cognitive processes in these patients remain poorly understood. I aim to combine cognitive neuroscience (task-based fMRI, sMRI, 1H-MRS) and integrative physiology techniques to identify mechanisms by which peripheral metabolic functioning relates to higher-order cognition and eating behaviour in healthy individuals, patients and those who are at risk for eating disorders or related psychopathology. To date, this work has primarily focused on how the experience of stress affects gut-brain signalling and cognition in women with anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

Research Interests

Feeding and Eating Disorders; Neuroimaging; Functional Neuroimaging; Psychiatry and Psychology; Cognitive Neuroscience

Selected Publications