Paul Smeets

Paul Smeets is associate professor at the UMC Utrecht and has a background in Behavioral Biology. His PhD work, at the Image Sciences Institute (ISI), aimed at finding biomarkers of satiety in the human brain, using functional MRI. Currently, he works at ISI / UMC Utrecht and at the Division of Human Nutrition and Health of Wageningen University. The central theme in his research is the decision to eat, which is taken in the brain on the basis of multiple neural as well as hormonal signals. Research topics include the neural correlates of taste, satiety and (un)healthy food choice, gut-brain interactions, effects of personality characteristics on food-induced brain responses and functional neuroimaging in anorexia nervosa. In recent years he has been using MRI techniques to study (gastric) digestion.

Research line

Nutritional and Translational Neuroscience

Most recent key publications

1: Smeets, P., Deng, R., Van Eijnatten, E., & Mayar, M. (2021). Monitoring food digestion with magnetic resonance techniques. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 80(2), 148-158. doi:10.1017/S0029665120007867

2: Smeets PAM, Dagher A, Hare TA, Kullmann S, van der Laan LN, Poldrack RA, Preissl H, Small D, Stice E, Veldhuizen MG. Good practice in food-related neuroimaging. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Mar 1;109(3):491-503. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy344.

3: van Meer F, van der Laan LN, Viergever MA, Adan RAH, Smeets PAM; I.Family Consortium. Considering healthiness promotes healthier choices but modulates medial prefrontal cortex differently in children compared with adults. Neuroimage. 2017 Oct 1;159:325-333. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.08.007.

4: van Meer F, van der Laan LN, Charbonnier L, Viergever MA, Adan RA, Smeets PA; I.Family Consortium. Developmental differences in the brain response to unhealthy food cues: an fMRI study of children and adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;104(6):1515-1522.

5: Camps G, Mars M, de Graaf C, Smeets PA. Empty calories and phantom fullness: a randomized trial studying the relative effects of energy density and viscosity on gastric emptying determined by MRI and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul;104(1):73-80. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.129064.

6: van Meer F, van der Laan LN, Adan RA, Viergever MA, Smeets PA. What you see is what you eat: an ALE meta-analysis of the neural correlates of food viewing in children and adolescents. Neuroimage. 2015 Jan 1;104:35-43. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.09.069.

Image Sciences Institute
University Medical Center Utrecht
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