Kyle Burger

Kyle Burger

Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition 

2204 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, 7461
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Research Interests

Food reward, reward learning, decision making, impulsivity, fMRI

Research Goals

Complications from poor dietary habits are one of the greatest public health challenges we face, demanding innovative, multidisciplinary research and interventions. The Neuropsychology of Ingestive Behavior Laboratory frequently creates, evaluates, and employs new methodologies that combine the fields of nutrition, public health, neuroscience, psychology, and physiology to better understand and improve habitual eating behavior and health. The primary area of his research is studying how the interaction among neural responsivity, eating behavior, and psychosocial factors in response to challenges put fourth by the food environment relate to habitual eating behavior and weight regulation. Ultimately we aim to: i) gain a better understanding of individual difference factors that impact ingestive behavior, specifically those contributing to weight gain and obesity, ii) utilize this knowledge as a framework to design and empirically test theory-based healthful eating programs, obesity prevention and treatment interventions and better inform food policy legislation.


  1. Burger KS, & Stice E.  Neural responsivity during soft drink intake, anticipation, and advertisement exposure in habitually consuming youth. Obesity. In press.
  2. Burger KS, & Stice E.  (2013). Elevated energy intake is correlated with hyperresponsivity in attentional, gustatory, and reward brain regions while anticipating palatable food receipt.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 97 (6), 1188-1194.
  3. Stice E, Yokum S, Burger KS. (2013). Elevated responsivity of reward regions to food and monetary reward predicts future weight gain.Biological Psychiatry. 73, 869-876.
  4. Stice E, Yokum S, Burger KS, Epstein L, Smolen. (2012). Multilocus genetic composite reflecting dopamine signaling capacity predicts reward circuitry responsivity. Journal of Neuroscience, 32. 1506-1512.
  5. Burger KS, Stice E. (2012). Frequent ice cream consumption is associated with reduced striatal response to receipt of an ice cream-based milkshake. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 94, 810-817.