Few people see much in common between candy and cocaine, aside from their identical first letters. Not so for Matt Will, Assistant Professor of Psychology. Will’s current research equates our cravings for fatty, high calorie foods with serious drug abuse.
As a child growing up in New Mexico, Christine VanPool remembers visiting museums and state parks with her family. By all accounts, VanPool was a normal kid who loved to ask questions. Living on the edge of the Mescalero Apache reservation, VanPool developed an appreciation for the rich cultural history of her Native American friends, which led naturally to her interest in anthropology.
Binge eating, it turns out, is parallel to exercise addiction like the “runner’s high." Through his collaboration in exercise physiology, Will began looking at exercise as a treatment plan for both drug and food addictions.
VanPool describes her research into shamanic practices among different groups of people. In order to develop a connection with the gods, some tribes use mind-altering drugs to slip slowly into a temporary altered state.