Dr Poppy   Watson
Research Associate

Dr Poppy Watson

Science
School of Psychology

The research interests of Dr Poppy Watson lie at the intersection of motivation, attention and choice behaviour. The mechanisms that underlie reward-seeking behaviour are investigated in both healthy individuals and patient populations and this research aims to understand how and why maladaptive and compulsive reward seeking behaviour arises (i.e. as seen in addiction and obesity). She is also involved in intervention projects (to improve treatment outcomes for clinical patients and measuring efficacy of these interventions) and is interested more generally in health psychology and behaviour change.

Key Words: associative learning, reward, attention, control, addiction, habits, goal-directed, Pavlovian-instrumental transfer, EEG, eye tracking, fMRI, DTI

Originally from New Zealand, Poppy Watson completed her Masters (2011) and PhD (2016) at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. There, she investigated reward-seeking behaviours and how these could be triggered by cues in the environment. Poppy has been working at UNSW since 2017 and received a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) in 2020 to pursue her research interests. Current projects are focused on the capture of attention by reward-related stimuli, as well as possible strategies that might minimize such distraction, "difficulties in disengaging attention" from threat-related stimuli in anxiety, and cognitive bias modification as adjunct to treatment-as-usual in order to reduce relapse in alcohol-dependent individuals.

 

Location
School of Psychology, Mathews Level 10, 1020

Publications

  • Journal articles | 2021
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Ciria LF; Watson P; Vadillo MA; Luque D, 2021, 'Is the habit system altered in individuals with obesity? A systematic review', Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 128, pp. 621 - 632, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.07.006
    Journal articles | 2021
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Frank-Podlech S; Watson P; Verhoeven AAC; Stegmaier S; Preissl H; de Wit S, 2021, 'Competing influences on healthy food choices: Mindsetting versus contextual food cues', Appetite, vol. 166, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105476
    Journal articles | 2021
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Vasudevan A; Pearson D; Le Pelley ME, 2021, 'Eating restraint is associated with reduced attentional capture by signals of valuable food reward', Appetite, vol. 159, pp. 105050 - 105050, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2020.105050
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Pearson D; Le Pelley ME, 2020, 'Reduced attentional capture by reward following an acute dose of alcohol', Psychopharmacology, vol. 237, pp. 3625 - 3639, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-020-05641-6
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Pearson D; Theeuwes J; Most SB; Le Pelley ME, 2020, 'Delayed disengagement of attention from distractors signalling reward', Cognition, vol. 195, pp. 104125 - 104125, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104125
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Le JT; Watson P; Begg D; Albertella L; Le Pelley ME, 2020, 'Physiological and subjective validation of a novel stress procedure: The Simple Singing Stress Procedure', Behavior Research Methods, http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13428-020-01505-1
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Luque D; Molinero S; Watson P; López FJ; Le Pelley ME, 2020, 'Measuring habit formation through goal-directed response switching', Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, vol. 149, pp. 1449 - 1459, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000722
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Pearson D; Watson P; Cheng PX; Le Pelley ME, 2020, 'Overt Attentional Capture by Reward-Related Stimuli Overcomes Inhibitory Suppression', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000728
    Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Pearson D; Chow M; Theeuwes J; Wiers RW; Most SB; Le Pelley ME, 2019, 'Capture and Control: Working Memory Modulates Attentional Capture by Reward-Related Stimuli', Psychological Science, vol. 30, pp. 1174 - 1185, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797619855964
    Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Pearson D; Most SB; Theeuwes J; Wiers RW; Le Pelley ME, 2019, 'Attentional capture by Pavlovian reward-signalling distractors in visual search persists when rewards are removed', PLoS ONE, vol. 14, pp. e0226284, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226284
    Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Le Pelley ME; Watson P; Pearson D; Abeywickrama RS; Most SB, 2019, 'Winners and losers: Reward and punishment produce biases in temporal selection', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, vol. 45, pp. 822 - 833, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000612
    Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Pearson D; Wiers RW; Le Pelley ME, 2019, 'Prioritizing pleasure and pain: attentional capture by reward-related and punishment-related stimuli', Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, vol. 26, pp. 107 - 113, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.12.002
    Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Albertella L; Watson P; Yücel M; Le Pelley ME, 2019, 'Persistence of value-modulated attentional capture is associated with risky alcohol use', Addictive Behaviors Reports, vol. 10, pp. 100195 - 100195, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2019.100195
    Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Pearson D; Watson P; Cheng P; Le Pelley M, 2019, 'Overt attentional capture by reward-related stimuli overcomes inhibitory suppression', Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 46, http://dx.doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/db9hg
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Wiers RW; Hommel B; de Wit S, 2018, 'Motivational sensitivity of outcome-response priming: Experimental research and theoretical models', Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, vol. 25, pp. 2069 - 2082, http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13423-018-1449-2
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; de Wit S, 2018, 'Current limits of experimental research into habits and future directions', Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, vol. 20, pp. 33 - 39, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2017.09.012
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Verhoeven AAC; Watson P; de Wit S, 2018, 'Failing to pay heed to health warnings in a food-associated environment', Appetite, vol. 120, pp. 616 - 626, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2017.10.020
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; van Wingen G; de Wit S, 2018, 'Conflicted between goal-directed and habitual control, an fMRI investigation', eNeuro, vol. 5, http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0240-18.2018
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Wiers RW; Hommel B; Gerdes VEA; de Wit S, 2017, 'Stimulus control over action for food in obese versus healthy-weight individuals', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00580
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Poppy Watson
    van Steenbergen H; Watson P; Wiers RW; Hommel B; de Wit S, 2017, 'Dissociable corticostriatal circuits underlie goal-directed vs. cue-elicited habitual food seeking after satiation: evidence from a multimodal MRI study', European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 46, pp. 1815 - 1827, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejn.13586
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Albertella L; Copeland J; Pearson D; Watson P; Wiers RW; Le Pelley ME, 2017, 'Selective attention moderates the relationship between attentional capture by signals of nondrug reward and illicit drug use', Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 175, pp. 99 - 105, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.041
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Wiers RW; Hommel B; Ridderinkhof KR; de Wit S, 2016, 'An associative account of how the obesogenic environment biases adolescents' food choices', Appetite, vol. 96, pp. 560 - 571, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2015.10.008
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Wiers R; Hommel B; de Wit S, 2016, 'Cue-elicited responding for food rewards', Appetite, vol. 101, pp. 220 - 220, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.02.062
    Journal articles | 2015
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Van Steenbergen H; De Wit S; Wiers RW; Hommel B, 2015, 'Limits of ideomotor action-outcome acquisition', Brain Research, vol. 1626, pp. 45 - 53, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2015.02.020
    Journal articles | 2014
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Wiers RW; Hommel B; De Wit S, 2014, 'Working for food you don't desire. Cues interfere with goal-directed food-seeking', Appetite, vol. 79, pp. 139 - 148, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.04.005
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Cousijn J; Watson P; Koenders L; Vingerhoets WAM; Goudriaan AE; Wiers RW, 2013, 'Cannabis dependence, cognitive control and attentional bias for cannabis words', Addictive Behaviors, vol. 38, pp. 2825 - 2832, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.08.011
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; de Wit S; Cousijn J; Hommel B; Wiers RW, 2013, 'Motivational Mechanisms Underlying the Approach Bias to Cigarettes', JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY, vol. 4, pp. 250 - 262, http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.030512
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; Korjoukov I; Vartak D; Roelfsema PR, 2013, 'Luminance contrast has little influence on the spread of object-based attention', Vision Research, vol. 85, pp. 90 - 103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2012.12.010
    Journal articles | 2012
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Watson P; de Wit S; Hommel B; Wiers RW, 2012, 'Motivational mechanisms and outcome expectancies underlying the approach bias toward addictive substances', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 3, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00440
    Journal articles | 2012
    Dr Poppy Watson
    de Wit S; Watson P; Harsay HA; Cohen MX; van de Vijver I; Ridderinkhof KR, 2012, 'Corticostriatal connectivity underlies individual differences in the balance between habitual and goal-directed action control', Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 32, pp. 12066 - 12075, http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1088-12.2012
    Journal articles | 2012
    Dr Poppy Watson
    Cavanagh JF; Neville D; Cohen MX; deVijver IV; Harsay H; Watson P; Buitenweg JI; Ridderinkhof KR, 2012, 'Individual differences in risky decision-making among seniors reflect increased reward sensitivity', Frontiers in Neuroscience, pp. 1 - 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2012.00111

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