Dr. Terry Davidson from the American University is the annual Psi Chi invited speaker.
Abstract: Diets high in sugar and saturated fats are widely consumed in the United States and other western and westernized societies. Intake of this "western" diet has been linked to excessive body weight gain and to co-morbidities such diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Accumulating evidence from our laboratory and elsewhere indicates that consuming this diet may also induce brain pathologies that disrupt learning, memory, and other cognitive processes. Such diet-induced effects on brain and cognitive functioning may begin in childhood and continue throughout the lifespan. This talk will present recent evidence that consuming the western diet has adverse consequences for the brain and behavior and will discuss the possibility that these toxic effects are part of a “vicious-cycle” of obesity and progressive cognitive decline.
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