Professor Suzanne Higgs

Professor Suzanne Higgs

School of Psychology
Professor in the Psychobiology of Appetite

Contact details

The School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Higgs is a researcher interested in the psychology of eating and the underlying biology


BA, MA (Oxon) PhD (Durham)


Prof. Suzanne Higgs has a degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology (PPP) from The University of Oxford and a PhD in Psychology from Durham University. She worked as a Post-Doctoral researcher at The University of Oxford before moving to the University of Birmingham in 1999.


I teach a level 3 module entitled "What Moticates You?"

Postgraduate supervision

Current postgraduate students:

  • Madhronica Sardjoe Effects of exercise on Appetite and Cognition. Joint PhD with Maastricht University 2018-2021
  • Elizabeth Schneider Interactions between cognitive and metabolic and reward processes in appetite control 2017-2020
  • Elizabeth Martin BBSRC MIBTP /P1vital  funded 4 year CASE studentship ADHD and eating behaviours 2017-2020


Google scholar profile

Research Group
Mental Health and Well-being

Research Interests
My research is focused on the psychology of eating and the biological mechanisms that underpin the decisions about what and how much we eat. I am particularly interested in the cognitive processes involved in appetite and how social context influences food choice and food intake. 

Other activities

  • Awarded the Hoebel research prize from the Society for the Sudy of Ingestive Behavior 2019.
  • Editor in Chief, Appetite
  • Scientific Advisory Board member for the Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation – Centre for Taste and Feeding Behaviour, Dijon, France.
  • Jean D’Alembert Fellowship,  l'Université Paris Saclay 2017-2018
  • President of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour (2015-16)
  • Jury member 2018 Danone International Prize for Alimentation


Recent publications


Balter, LJT, Raymond, JE, Aldred, S, Higgs, S & Bosch, JA 2021, 'Age, BMI, and inflammation: associations with emotion recognition', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 232, 113324.

Robinson, E, Marty, L, Higgs, S & Jones, A 2021, 'Interoception, eating behaviour and body weight', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 237, 113434.

Ruddock, HK, Long, EV, Brunstrom, JM, Vartanian, LR & Higgs, S 2021, 'People serve themselves larger portions before a social meal', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 11072.

Garcia, A, Hammami, A, Mazellier, L, Lagneau, J, Darcel, N, Higgs, S & Davidenko, O 2021, 'Social modeling of food choices in real life conditions concerns specific food categories', Appetite, vol. 162, 105162.

Ruddock, HK, Brunstrom, JM & Higgs, S 2021, 'The social facilitation of eating: why does the mere presence of others cause an increase in energy intake?', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 240, 113539.

Meadows, A & Higgs, S 2020, 'A bifactor analysis of the Weight Bias Internalization Scale: what are we really measuring?', Body Image, vol. 33, pp. 137-151.

Martin, E, Dourish, CT, Hook, R, Chamberlain, SR & Higgs, S 2020, 'Associations between inattention and impulsivity ADHD symptoms and disordered eating risk in a community sample of young adults', Psychological Medicine, pp. 1-10.

Price, M, Higgs, S, Wilkinson, L, Lee, M, Embling, R, Kuberka, P, Hamill, A, Collier, J, Keable-Steer, S, Reitmaier, T, Mukhopadyay, S & Lindsay, S 2020, 'Construal beliefs moderate the usability and effectiveness of a novel healthy eating mobile app', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 222, 112941.

Meadows, A & Higgs, S 2020, 'Internalized weight stigma and the progression of food addiction over time', Body Image, vol. 34, pp. 67-71.

Spetter, M, Higgs, S, Dolmans, D, Thomas, J, Reniers, R, Rotshtein, P & Rutters, F 2020, 'Neural correlates of top-down guidance of attention to food: an fMRI study', Physiology and Behavior.

Whitelock, V, Rutters, F, Rijnhart, JJM, Nouwen, A & Higgs, S 2020, 'The mediating role of comorbid conditions in the association between type 2 diabetes and cognition: A cross-sectional observational study using the UK Biobank cohort', Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Whitelock, V, Kersbergen, I, Higgs, S, Aveyard, P, Halford, JC & Robinson, E 2020, 'User Experiences of a Smartphone-Based Attentive Eating App and Their Association With Diet and Weight Loss Outcomes: Thematic and Exploratory Analyses From a Randomized Controlled Trial', JMIR mHealth and uHealth, vol. 8, no. 10, e16780, pp. e16780.

Whitelock, V, Kersbergen, I, Higgs, S, Aveyard, P, Halford, JCG & Robinson, E 2019, 'A smartphone based attentive eating intervention for energy intake and weight loss: results from a randomised controlled trial', BMC Public Health, vol. 19, no. 1, 611.

Review article

Robinson, E, Foote, G, Smith, J, Higgs, S & Jones, A 2021, 'Interoception and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between interoception and BMI', International Journal of Obesity.

Schneider, E, Higgs, S & Dourish, CT 2021, 'Lisdexamfetamine and binge-eating disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the preclinical and clinical data with a focus on mechanism of drug action in treating the disorder', European Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 53, pp. 49-78.

View all publications in research portal


The influence of cognitive processes such as learning and memory on eating behaviour