2017 Presentation Title – Effects of Flavonoid-Rich Blueberries on Cognitive Function in Healthy Younger and Older Adults
Professor Williams is Chair of Neuroscience in the School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading, UK.
She received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Reading in 2000. Her research group, the Nutritional Psychology laboratory, investigates the health benefits of plant-derived chemicals. The main focus of her laboratory is the interplay between dietary intake and measures of psychological well-being such as cognitive performance, food preference, mood, and quality of life using a wide range of techniques (e.g. animal studies, randomised controlled trials, neuroimaging) and population groups (e.g., school-aged children, healthy adults, older adults, patients with mild cognitive impairment). The group have published a number of articles including a demonstration that improvements in spatial working memory induced by a high flavanoid diet can be linked to de novo protein synthesis in rat hippocampus, flavonoid supplementation is associated with increased cerebral blood perfusion in healthy older adults, and that single acute doses of blueberries can significantly improve memory and attention in children aged 8-10 years old.
Professor Williams is currently PI on an industry-sponsored award investigating the effects of an anthocyanin-rich supplement on cognitive performance in 65-80 year olds and is Co-I on a 3-year UK Research Council funded grant investigating the mechanisms underlying the acute and chronic cognitive effects of flavanol/anthocyanin intervention in humans. She has published more than forty peer-reviewed research articles, four book chapters and four patents.