Explore UAB

Mary M. Boggiano.

Associate Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CH 325
(205) 996-4562

Research Interests: Psychobiology, motivation, eating disorders and obesity

Office Hours: By appointment


  • B.A., University of Texas at El Paso, Psychology
  • M.A., University of Texas at El Paso, Psychology
  • Ph.D., University of Texas at El Paso, Psychology
  • Postdoc, University of Cincinnati Medical College

  • Research Interests

    Past areas of research included the development of animal models of binge-eating (e.g., Stress + Dieting model) and models showing the independence of binge-eating and obesity (e.g., Binge-eating Prone vs. Resistant or “BEP/BER” model). Drug, HPLC, and RIA studies implicated sensitization of mu-opioid receptors, dysregulation of mesolimibic monoamine release, and increased cortisol as mechanisms underlying binge-eating. Other systems studied are the role of central PYY and the melanocortin system in eating behavior. Novel behavioral methods included use or increasing levels of foot shock to test the motivation of rats for palatable food and a Pavlovian model of conditioned overeating. Her animal models of binge-eating and obesity are still in use in academic and industry labs to gain a better understanding of the physiology of binge-eating disorders and obesity and to test the efficacy of new drugs for these conditions.

    Current research is on human subjects and includes:

    1. Continued validation, translation, and use of the Palatable Eating Motives Scale (PEMS) and Kids-PEMS in the U.S. and abroad. The scale identifies motives for eating when not hungry. The scale was developed in her lab and can also be used to predict BMI, binge-eating, and response to weight-loss interventions.
    2. Testing the effect of “Gut-Cued Eating,” a simple weight-loss method designed in her lab, to reduce body weight and to prevent obesity in adults.
    3. Investigate the prevalence, behavioral and clinical correlates, and potential treatments for sensory hypersensitivity in college students.
  • Graduate Students
    • Paula Chandler, Behavioral Neuroscience
    • Rachel Rybak, Medical Psychology
    • Pamela Wauford, Behavioral Neuroscience
    • Annie Artiga, Medical Psychology
    • Kim Oswald, Medical Psychology
    • Emilee Burgess, Medical Psychology
    • Mary Katherine Osborn-Ray, Behavioral Neuroscience
    • Carl E. Stevens Jr., Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Recent Courses
    • PY 101: Intro to Psychology
    • PY 201: Honors Intro to Psychology – Focus on Neuroscience
    • PY 435/620: Motivation & Emotion
    • PY 455/791: Psychology of Eating Disorders & Obesity
    • PY 453/753: Lectures in Adv Behav Neuroscience / Overview of Behav Neuroscience
  • Select Publications

    Hagan is former name; Boggiano current and maiden name; *1st-author trainee in lab.

    • Hagan, M.M., Rushing, P.A., Pritchard, L. M. Schwartz, M. W., Strack, A., Vander Ploeg, L., Woods, S.C. & Seeley, R. J. (2000). Long-term orexigenic effects of agouti related peptide (83-132) involve mechanisms other than melanocortin receptor blockade. American Journal of Physiology, 279(1), R47-R52.
    • Tschop, M., Castaneda, T. R., Joost, H. G., Thone-Reineke, C., Ortmann, S., Klaus, S., Hagan, M.M., et al. (2004). Physiology: does gut hormone PYY3-36 decrease food intake in rodents? Nature, 430(6996), 1-2 following 165.
    • Boggiano, M.M., Chandler, P. C., Viana, J. B., Oswald, K. D., Maldonado, C. R., & Wauford, P. K. (2005). Combined dieting and stress evoke exaggerated responses to opioids in binge-eating rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 119(5), 1207-1214.
    • Boggiano, M.M., Artiga, A. I., Pritchett, C. E., Chandler, P.C., Smith, M. L., & Eldridge, A. J. (2007). High intake of palatable food predicts binge-eating characteristics independent of susceptibility to obesity: An animal model of lean vs. obese binge eating and obesity with and without binge-eating. International Journal of Obesity, 31(9), 1357-1367.
    • Boggiano, M.M., Dorsey, J., Thomas, J. M., & Murdaugh, D. (2009). The Pavlovian power of palatable food: lessons for weight-loss adherence from a new rodent model of cue-induced overeating. International Journal of Obesity, 33(6), 693-701. PMC2697275.
    • Boggiano, M. M., Turan, B., Maldonado, C.R., Oswald, K.D. & Shuman, E.J. (2013). Secretive food concocting in binge-eating: Test of a famine hypothesis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 46, 212-225.
    • Boggiano, M.M., Wenger, L.E., Turan, B., Tatum, M.M., Sylvester, M.D., Morgan, P.R. & Burgess, E.E. (2015). Real-time sampling of reasons for hedonic food consumption: further validation of the Palatable Eating Motives Scale. Frontiers in Psychology-Eating Behavior, 6: 744.
    • Burgess*, E.E., Sylvester, M.D., Morse, K.E., Amthor, F.R., Mrug, S., Lokken, K., Osborn, M.K., Soleymani, T. and Boggiano, M.M. (2016) Effect of transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) on binge eating disorder. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 49: 930-936. PMCID: PMC5098405 DOI:10.1002/eat.22554
    • Ray*, M.K., Sylvester, D.M., Helton, A., Pittman, B., Wagstaff, L., McRae, T III., Turan, B., Fontaine, K.R., Amthor, F.R. & Boggiano, M.M. (2019). The effect of expectation on transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to suppress food craving and eating in individuals with overweight and obesity. Appetite, 136:1-7. PMCID: PMC6430671.doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.12.044
    • Ray*, M.K., Zachmann, A.E., Caudill, V.C. & Boggiano, M.M. (2020). Relationship between trait suggestibility and eating-related behaviors in overweight and obesity. Eating Behaviors, 37: 101380. DOI: org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2020.101380
    • Stevens*, C.R., Lausen, M., Wagstaff, L., McRae III, T., Pittman, B.R., Amthor, F.R. & Boggiano, M.M. (2021). Effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on food craving and eating when using a control method that minimizes guessing of the real vs. control condition. Eating and Weight Disorders, 26: 1669-1674. DOI: 10.1007/s40519-020-00970-z
    • Ebeling*, M., Braswell, A.C., Wood, A.S., White, T.R., Lausen, M. A., Isaac, S. & Boggiano, M.M. (2021). Gut-cued eating for weight loss: A preliminary proof-of-concept study. Obesity and Diabetes Research, 2: 113. DOI: https://doi.org/10.47275/2692-0964-113
    • Braswell*, A.C., Ebeling, M., Wood, A.S., White, T.R., Lausen, M.A., Isaac, S.& Boggiano, M.M. (2021). Effect of Non-Deceptive Placebo on Weight Loss: An Exploratory Study. Obesity and Diabetes Research, 2: 114. DOI: https://doi.org/10.47275/2692-0964-114
    • *White, T.R., Wood, A.S., Ebeling, M., Braswell A.C., Lausen, M.A., Isaac, S., Gampher, J. E.& Boggiano, M.M. (2022). Change in craving and frequency of consuming palatable foods for non-homeostatic motives after a gut-cued eating intervention. Eating Behaviors, 46:101656.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2022.101656
  • Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

    Teaching & Mentoring Awards/Distinctions

    • Mentor Award: Early Medical School Acceptance Program (2019)
    • Professor of the Month Award by UAB Alpha Omicron Pi (2010)
    • Professor of the Month Award by UAB Alpha Omicron Pi (2007)
    • President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at UAB (2006)
    • Professor of the Month Award by UAB Alpha Omicron Pi (2002)
    • Psychology textbooks citing research: Abnormal Psychology by Beidel & Stanley; Exploring Psychology by Myers; Psychology by Myers & Dewall; Psychology in Everyday Life by Myers & Dewall (2012-2018)

    Research/Professional Awards

    • Editors' Choice Paper in Appetite (2016)
    • Best Paper in International Journal of Eating Disorders (2016)
    • Best Paper in Obesity or Nutrition by Science Unbound Foundation Award (2006)
    • Only basic researcher invited-NIH R13 Workshop: Next Generation of Research to inform inclusion of Binge-Eating Disorder into the DSM-5 (2012)
    • 1st Inaugural Translational Research speaker -Academy for Eating Disorders (2008)
    • Invited speaker-35th Anniversary of the Columbia Univ. Appetitive (aka, “Competitive”) Seminars (2007)
    • Best Paper in the Area of Obesity or Nutrition; Science Unbound Foundation Award (2006)
    • Publication selected for published commentary by editor, N. Geary, Int J Eating Disorders (2003)

    Professional Positions (current)

    • Ad-hoc Reviewer for more than 48 peer-reviewed journals
    • Founding member: International Behavioral Neuroscience Society
    • UAB Nutrition & Obesity Research Center (NORC). Scientist
    • UAB Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC). Scientist
    • UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center (CNC). Scientist
    • UAB Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center (MHERC). Scientist
  • Student Groups
    • Support Psi Chi and Open Minds on Eating Disorder awareness activities.