Dr Jason Michael Thomas

ESRC Research Fellow

School of Psychology

Jason Michael Thomas

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

About

Dr Jason Thomas is interested in studying human eating behaviour using a variety of experimental techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), psychopharmacological manipulations, and novel behavioural measures of appetite and food intake.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Psychology

MRes Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience

PhD Psychology

Biography

Dr Thomas graduated with a degree in Psychology from Swansea University in 2008, after which he spent time as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist. In 2009 he undertook a Masters at the University of Birmingham, and then a PhD in 2010. His PhD experimental work was undertaken both at Birmingham and at the University of Oxford in collaboration with his industrial sponsor P1vital. Dr Thomas is presently a Research Fellow and fully trained Neuroimaging Operator at the University of Birmingham.

Teaching

Dr Thomas has taught Research Methods and Developmental Psychology, and presently runs workshops on Good Experimental Practice.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Thomas has mentored and supervised over 20 undergraduates for short research placements and five postgraduates for substantial placements (International interns and Masters students).

Research

Research Gate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jason_Thomas5

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=4zmU8bkAAAAJ&hl=en

Research interests

Dr Thomas is interested in the biopsychological aspects of human eating behaviour, and interventions aimed at altering food intake and food selection to improve health. He is particularly interested in psychopharmacological, cognitive, and social influences on human eating behaviour, and is presently researching a social norms approach to encourage healthier eating. His work has been funded by the BBSRC, P1vital, ESRC, and the University of Birmingham.

Other activities

Journal Reviewer

  • Obesity
  • Appetite
  • Physiology and Behaviour

Organisation

  • Doctoral Researcher Development Award (DRDA) Manager, 2013
  • Principal Organiser of Treatment of Obesity Conference (TOC), 2012
  • Ingestive Behaviour Group Seminar Series Organiser (IBG), 2011 - Present

Awards

  • British Association of Psychopharmacology Conference Bursary 2014
  • Conference Bursary, British Feeding and Drinking Group 2010-2014
  • Life and Environmental Sciences, Small Grant Award 2012 (£1000)
  • Guarantors of Brain, Travel Award 2012 (£500)
  • Experimental Psychology Society, Grindley Grant 2012 (£500)
  • Hannah Steinberg Award, British Association for Psychopharmacology 2012 (£420)
  • Nominated for and accepted onto the Excellence in Science Program 2012 (AAAS)

Professional Memberships

  • British Association of Psychopharmacology (BAP)
  • Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)
  • British Feeding and Drinking Group (BFDG)
  • Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour (SSIB)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Publications

Thomas, J. M., Robinson, E., Herman, C. P., Aveyard, P., & Higgs. S. (in preparation). Do social norm messages about fruit and vegetable consumption affect how much they are liked?

Thomas, J. M., Robinson, E., Herman, C. P., Aveyard, P., & Higgs. S. (in preparation). Descriptive and liking social norm messages enhance the consumption of a cruciferous vegetable in healthy students: sustained effects after a 24 hour delay.

Thomas, J. M., Tomlinson, J., Hassan-Smith, Z., Dourish, C. T., & Higgs, S. (in preparation).  Selective effects of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) on intake of a palatable snack food in healthy female volunteers: correlation with regional brain activations measured by BOLD fMRI.

Thomas, J. M., Higgs, S., & Dourish, C. T. (in preparation). Evaluation of The P1vital® Oxford Emotional Test Battery (ETB): effects of satiety and repeatability on measures of emotional processing.

Thomas, J. M., Dourish, C. T. & Higgs, S. (under review). Monitoring Eating Behaviour in the Laboratory: do we need to do it covertly? 

Thomas, J. M., Higgs, S., Dourish, C. T., Hansen, P., Harmer, C. J., & McCabe, C. (In Press, 2015). Satiation attenuates BOLD activity in brain regions involved in reward and increases activity in an inhibitory control area: an fMRI study in healthy volunteers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (Impact Factor = 6.9)

Thomas, J. M., Tomlinson, J., Hassan-Smith, Z., Dourish, C. T., & Higgs, S. (2014). Effects of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine on appetite, food intake and emotional processing in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 231, 2449-59. (Impact Factor = 4.0)

Robinson E, Thomas, J. M., Aveyard, P., & Higgs, S. (2013). What everyone else is eating: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of informational eating norms on eating behavior. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 114, 414-429. (Impact Factor = 3.6)

Robinson, E., Harris, E., Thomas, J. M., Aveyard, P., & Higgs, S. (2013). Reducing high calorie snack food in young adults: A role for social norms and health based messages. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 1-8. (Impact Factor = 3.8)

Higgs, S., Rutters, F., Thomas, J. M., Naish, K., & Humphreys, G. (2012). Motivational modulation of top-down attentional guidance: Enhanced capture of attention by food in working memory. Appetite, 59, 71-75. (Impact Factor = 2.5)

 

Presentations

Thomas, J. M., & Harris, G. (2014) A Model Of The Psychobiological Bases Of Avoidant / Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). International Feeding Disorders Conference – London.

Thomas, J. M. , Dourish, C. T., Tomlinson, J., Hassan-Smith, Z., & Higgs, S (2014). Differences in baseline fMRI BOLD signals in reward areas underlies disparate effects of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine on consumption of a palatable snack. British Association for Psychopharmacology – Cambridge 

Thomas, J. M. , Dourish, C. T., Tomlinson, J., Hassan-Smith, Z., & Higgs, S (2014). Selective neural and satiating effects of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) in healthy females British Feeding and Drinking Group Annual Conference – Portsmouth 

Thomas, J. M. , Tomlinson, J., Hassan-Smith, Z., Dourish, C. T., & Higgs, S. (2013). Effect of meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) on appetite, satiety and fMRI BOLD signal in healthy volunteers. European Behavioural Pharmacology Society – La Rochelle, France

Thomas, J. M., Higgs, S., Dourish, C. T., Hansen, P., Harmer, C., & McCabe, C (2013).Effects of satiation on brain responses to rewarding and aversive stimuli. British Association for Psychopharmacology – Harrogate.

Thomas, J. M. , Tomlinson, J., Hassan-Smith, Z., Dourish, C. T., & Higgs, S. (2013). Behavioural & Neural Markers of Appetite Suppressant Drugs. National Institute for Health Research & Department of Health – Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Thomas, J. M., Higgs, S., & Dourish, C. T., (2013). Monitoring Eating Behaviour in the Laboratory: do we need to do it covertly? Oral Presentation, British Feeding and Drinking Group Annual Conference – Loughborough.

Thomas, J. M., Dourish, C. T., & Higgs, S. (2013). The Effect of Food Consumption on Brain Activity. The British Psychological Society “Psychobiological predictors of weight gain in susceptible young adults: What do we know, where do we go?” Research Day – University of Leeds

Thomas, J. M. , Tomlinson, J., Hassan-Smith, Z., Dourish, C. T., & Higgs, S. (2012). Effect of mCPP on appetite and food intake in healthy volunteers. Clinical Research Facility – Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Thomas, J. M. , Tomlinson, J., Hassan-Smith, Z., Dourish, C. T., & Higgs, S. (2012). Effect of meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) on emotional processing and mood in healthy volunteers. Oral Presentation, British Association for Psychopharmacology – Harrogate.

Thomas, J. M. , Tomlinson, J., Hassan-Smith, Z., Dourish, C. T., & Higgs, S. (2012). The effect of meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) on appetite ratings and food intake in healthy volunteers. Oral Presentation, Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour – Zurich.

Thomas, J. M., Dourish, C. T., & Higgs, S. (2012). An Experimental Medicine Model to assess the Efficacy and Safety of Novel Anti-Obesity Drugs. Oral Presentation, Treatment of Obesity Conference – Birmingham.

Thomas, J. M., Higgs, S., Hansen, P., Dourish, C. T., Harmer, C., & McCabe, C. (2012). An fMRI study of the Effect of Satiation on Responses to Food Pictures and Taste. Oral Presentation, British Feeding and Drinking Group Annual Conference – Brighton.

Thomas, J. M., Higgs, S., Dourish, C. T., Harmer, C., & McCabe, C. (2011). Effect of Satiation on Ratings of Rewarding and Aversive Taste Stimuli. Oral Presentation, British Feeding and Drinking Group Annual Conference – Belfast.

Thomas, J. M ., Naish, K., Humphreys, G., & Higgs, S. (2010). The Effect of Working Memory on Attention to Food. Poster Presentation, British Feeding and Drinking Group Annual Conference – Maastricht.

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