Peter Rogers studies nutrition and behaviour, and a large part of this research is concerned with how physiological, learned and cognitive controls on appetite are integrated. The results are relevant to identifying the causes of obesity and disordered eating, and to understanding food choice, food craving and food ‘addiction.’ I also work on dietary effects on mood and cognition; which includes research on how food consumption affects alertness and attention, and studies of longer term influences of diet on psychological health.
Linking the above themes is my third area of interest – the psychopharmacology of caffeine. My research on this ubiquitously consumed substance began with questions about how preferences for caffeine-containing drinks develop, and now focuses on caffeine’s psychostimulant, anxiogenic and motor effects. Caffeine provides a good example of the distinction between dependence and addiction. When frequent caffeine consumers interrupt their habit for more than half a day they function below par (dependence), but this does not cause a strong compulsion to consume caffeine.