David A. Booth

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David A. Booth
Born 1 August 1938
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Oxford
Known for individual psychology, associative learning of appetites (conditioned satiety), neuroscience of motivation, weight control, retail product choices (consumer behaviour)
Website birmingham.ac.uk > booth-david
Scientific career
Fields Psychology
Institutions University of Birmingham

David Booth works full-time in research and research teaching as an honorary professor at the School of Psychology in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences of the University of Birmingham (UK)[citation needed]. According to his Web page [1] he investigates the ways in which an individual's life works. His research and teaching centre on the processes in the mind that fit acts and reactions of human beings and animals to the passing situation.

Educational roots[edit]

Booth studied chemistry, physics and mathematics in school, then chemistry—in particular chemical physics—at university. Another student on a philosophy and psychology degree introduced him to the 1930s Cambridge work in analysis of the functioning of language

Academic career[edit]

Booth has been Professor of Psychology, earlier Reader in Physiological Psychology, Senior Lecturer and initially Lecturer in the Birmingham School of Psychology since 1972, with research staff funded by MRC, HEC,[2] SERC, MAFF, AFRC and BBSRC. In 1966-72, he was Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, on his own funds from SERC, MRC and MHRF.[3] He was elected to the Experimental Psychology Society in 1967. On joining the British Psychological Society in 1983, he was made a Fellow and later become Chartered Psychologist, a founding member of the Division of Health Psychology and professionally practising member of the Division for Teachers and Researchers in Psychology, ending as chair. His first employment within Psychology was as a postdoc at the Yale University Graduate School in 1964-6, initiating work on metabolic biochemistry and neuropharmacology in the laboratories of Neal E. Miller on his funds from NIH. From 1959 to 1964 he was employed as a graduate research worker in Henry McIlwain's Department of Neurochemistry at the Institute of Psychiatry (and briefly the Institute of Neurology) in the University of London. After 3 years of registered study for a PhD in Biochemistry, he graduated by thesis in 1964. He registered for two years for a BA in Philosophy and Psychology (with Sociology option) at Birkbeck College, University of London, graduating with First Class Honours in 1962. He went up to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1955 to read Chemistry with Biochemistry, following secondary education at Dulwich College.


David Booth carried out work that contradicted the theory that dual centres of the hypothalamus control eating, the lateral hypothalamus for hunger [4] and the ventromedial hypothalamus for satiety [5] and began to replace it with a theory of the control of food choice and intake through learnt connections distributed around the brain.[6] With colleagues he built a simulation of the physiological and learning mechanisms influencing eating patterns in people and laboratory animals,[7] and extended it to include cultural and interpersonal influences.[8]


  1. ^ Booth's personal page at the University of Birmingham ([1])
  2. ^ Health Education Council, now Public health guidance in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence www.publichealth.nice.org.uk
  3. ^ Mental Health Research Fund, now Mental Health Foundation
  4. ^ Booth DA. Localization of the adrenergic feeding system in the rat diencephalon. Science 1967;158:515‑7. Matthews JW, Booth DA, Stolerman IP. Factors influencing feeding elicited by intracranial noradrenaline in rats. Brain Res. 1978;141:119‑28. Cp. Ungerstedt U. Acta physiol Scand 1970;80(4):35A-36A, 1971; Suppl367:97-122.
  5. ^ Booth DA, Toates FM, Platt SV. Control system for hunger and its implications in animals and man, in D Novin, W Wyrwicka, GA Bray (eds) Hunger 1976; New York: Raven Press:127‑42. Duggan JP, Booth DA. Obesity, overeating and rapid gastric emptying in rats with ventromedial hypothalamic lesions. Science 1986;231:609‑11. Duggan JP, Booth DA. Failure to demonstrate that accelerated gastric emptying after VMH lesions is secondary to excess weight gain. Amer. J. Physiol. 1991;261:515-6.
  6. ^ Booth DA. Vertebrate brain ribonucleic acids and memory retention. Psychol. Bull. 1967;68;149‑77. Lovett D, Goodchild P, Booth DA. Depression of intake of nutrient by association of its odor with effects of insulin. Psychon. Sci. 1968;11:27-8. Booth DA, Miller NE. Lateral hypothalamus mediated effects of a food signal on blood glucose concentration. Physiol. Behav. 1969;4:1003-9. Booth DA, Simson PC. Food preferences acquired by association with variations in amino acid nutrition. Q. J. Exp. Psychol. 1971;23:135-45. Booth DA, Lovett D, McSherry GM. Postingestive modulation of the sweetness preference gradient in the rat. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 1972;78:485-512. Booth DA, Lee M, McAleavey C. Acquired sensory control of satiation in man. Br. J. Psychol. 1976;67:137-47.
  7. ^ Toates FM, Booth DA. Control of food intake by energy supply. Nature 1974;251;710‑1. Booth DA, Mather P. Prototype model of human feeding, growth and obesity, in DA Booth (ed) Hunger models 1978;London: Academic Press 279‑322.
  8. ^ Booth DA. A simulation model of psychobiosocial theory of human food-intake controls. Int. J. Vitamin Nutr. Res. 1988;58:55-69. Booth DA. Physiological regulation through learnt control of appetites by contingencies among signals from external and internal environments. Appetite 2008;51:433-41.