Dr. Dixon conducts research in the field of nutritional neuroscience, the study of interactions between diet and brain functioning. She is working to advance current understanding of how the brain regulates two of our most essential behaviors – eating and sleeping, interactions between them, and influences of diet on both. She uses a translational approach, in which hypotheses based on the neural mechanisms of appetite and sleep are investigated using human data collected with new technologies for high throughput measurement of physiological functions and behaviors, and analyzed with advanced computational methods. The results are used to develop actionable information for the public on how dietary choices can better support healthy brain functioning.
1) Influences of diet on sleep/wake regulation
2) Regulation of appetite, food preferences, and body energy stores
3) Data-intensive research methods using new health technologies