Photo of Leigh Gibson
  • 3030 Parkstead House, Whitelands College


Research output per year

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Personal profile


Leigh Gibson read Psychology and Physiology at the University of London, and then completed a PhD and post-doctoral fellowship at the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, studying mechanisms by which nutrients in food influence food choice and appetite. In 1989, Leigh joined the Institute of Neurology in London, to work on the neurochemistry of appetite, anxiety and stress. In 1993, he joined the Health Behaviour Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry, and then moved with the HBU to the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL, in 1996, where, as Senior Research Fellow, he studied food choice, appetite, and their interactions with stress and health. In 2004, Leigh joined the School of Human and Life Sciences, University of Roehampton.

Leigh is currently a Reader in Biopsychology, and Director of the Clinical and Health Psychology Research Centre within the recently formed Department of Psychology


BSc, PhD, C Psychol, R Nutr, AFBPsS, FHEA

Research interests

Leigh Gibson's current research is concerned with influences on appetite and food choice, and their interaction with stress, health, and cognitive and emotional well-being. The work is aimed at understanding processes controlling people's habitual diet, attempts at dietary change, weight control and disordered eating. His work derives mainly from psychological and physiological mechanisms underlying dietary habit formation, especially the role of learning, but also including influences of nutrition and stress on brain/behaviour and cardiovascular adaptations protecting health.

For a detailed profile of Leigh's research publications, please visit this site:

Professional affiliations

British Psychological Society; British Neuroscience Association; Nutrition Society; Association for the Study of Obesity; Association for Nutrition; Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior

Consultancy work

Dr Leigh Gibson has acted as an expert consultant for the food and drink industry, including Unilever, the Natural Hydration Council and the International Life Sciences Institute.

A recent collaboration with Abbott Nutrition and Nyxeon led to Dr Gibson's participation in a training film on "The Power of Taste", which has been endorsed by the British Dietetic Association for continous professional development.  More details and a link to the film are available here:


Leigh contributes lectures to a broad range of modules across the Departments of Psychology and Life Sciences, including those for Nutrition, Health and Sports Science undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as in Psychology. He has convened several psychological modules including "Experiencing Psychological Research", "Mind, Body and Brain" and an MSc module, "Experimental Design, Data Collection and Analysis". Leigh is also a visiting lecturer at King's College London and Riga Stradins University, Riga, Latvia.


Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output

Influences of Parental Snacking-Related Attitudes, Behaviours and Nutritional Knowledge on Young Children’s Healthy and Unhealthy Snacking: The ToyBox Study

Gibson, E. L., Androutsos, O., Aznar, L. A. M., Flores-Barrantes, P., Socha, P., Iotova, V., Cardon, G., Bourdeaudhuij, I. D., Koletzko, B., Skripkauskaite, S. & Manios, Y., 7 Feb 2020, In : Nutrients. 12, 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Is comfort food actually comforting for emotional eaters? A (moderated) mediation analysis

van Strien, T., Gibson, E. L., Banos, R., Cebolla, A. & Wilkens, L. H. H., 1 Sep 2019, In : PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR. 211, November 2019, 49 p., 112671.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Oxytocin reduces post-stress sweet snack intake in women without attenuating salivary cortisol

Burmester, V., Gibson, E. L., Butler, G., Bailey, A. & Terry, P., 8 Oct 2019, In : PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR. in press, p. 1-35 35 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Validity and Reliability of a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) to Assess Dietary Intake of Preschool Children

Hafizah, Y. N., Ang, L. C., Yap, F., Najwa, W. N., Cheah, W. L., Abd, T. R., Jumuddin, F. A., Koh, D., Lee, J. A. C., Essau, C., Reeves, S., Summerbell, C., Gibson, E. L. & Poh, B. K., 27 Nov 2019, In : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
71 Downloads (Pure)

A prebiotic intervention study in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).

Grimaldi, R., Gibson, G. R., Vulevic, J., Giallourou, N., Castro-Mejia, J. L., Hansen, L. H., Gibson, E. L., Nielsen, D. S. & Costabile, A., 2 Aug 2018, In : Microbiome. 6, 133, p. 133-145 13 p., MBIO-D-18-00132R2.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
138 Downloads (Pure)


  • 2 Membership of network
  • 1 Participation in conference
  • 1 Membership of council
  • 1 Media article or participation

Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Regional Meeting

Leigh Gibson (Invited speaker)

12 Jul 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Royal Society of Medicine (External organisation)

Leigh Gibson (Member)

2018 → …

Activity: MembershipMembership of council

ToyBox Malaysia Feasibility Study Press Coverage from Initial Meetings

Leigh Gibson (Organiser)

Jan 2017

Activity: Public engagement and outreachMedia article or participation


Association for the Study of Obesity (External organisation)

Leigh Gibson (Member)

1996 → …

Activity: MembershipMembership of network

British Neuroscience Association (External organisation)

Leigh Gibson (Member)

1986 → …

Activity: MembershipMembership of network


Clinical applications of the polyvagal theory and attachment theory to play therapy for children with developmental trauma

Author: Hadiprodjo, N., 7 Nov 2018

Supervisor: Farnfield, S. (Supervisor) & Gibson, E. L. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis