Dr. Rachelle de Vries is a Lecturer-Researcher in the field of eating behaviour and health promotion at the Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles chairgroup of Wageningen University. She is also a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Communication and Cognition of Tilburg University, investigating personalized digital (just-in-time) nudges for healthy food choice.
From 2017 to 2021, Rachelle conducted her doctoral research on the existence of an automatic prioritization or “bias” in human memory for the locations of high-calorie foods, and implications of this cognitive bias for individuals’ eating behaviour (e.g. food search, food choice, BMI). Several studies from her PhD work have been highlighted by popular media outlets.
Currently at the WUR, Rachelle is working within an NWO-funded project investigating the acceptability and effectiveness of diverse health-promoting nudges. With regards to educational activities, Rachelle is involved in the development and coordination of an applied data science course (Solving Societal Health Challenges with Data Science) from the new “Data Science for Food and Health” MSc program at the WUR. She regularly supervises BSc and MSc students.
Selection of media coverage:
- Scientific American (2020). Our Brain Is Better at Remembering Where to Find Brownies Than Cherry Tomatoes. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-brain-is-better-at-remembering-where-to-find-brownies-than-cherry-tomatoes/
- The New York Times (2020). Where’d I Stash That Chocolate? It’s Easy to Remember. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/well/eat/chocolate-memory-mind-psychology-calories.html
- New Scientist NL (2020). Mensen onthouden onbewust beter waar calorierijk voedsel te vinden is.https://www.newscientist.nl/nieuws/mensen-onthouden-onbewust-beter-waar-calorierijk-voedsel-te-vinden-is/
- Het Parool (2021). We onthouden calorierijk eten beter dan caloriearm eten. https://www.parool.nl/ps/we-onthouden-calorierijk-eten-beter-dan-caloriearm-eten~b7d2e1b0/
Foraging Minds in Modern Food Environments: A High-calorie Bias in Human Spatial Memory and its Implications for Eating Behavior
The overall aim of this research was to empirically examine the existence of a “high-calorie bias” in human spatial memory, as well as its implications for individual eating behavior within the modern "obesogenic" food environment.
This work was funded by the Edema-Steernberg Foundation.