Subjective and physiological reactivity to chocolate images in high and low cravers

University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
Biological Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.4). 10/2005; 70(1):9-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2004.10.001
Source: PubMed


Cue-reactivity to chocolate images was assessed using self-report and physiological measures. From a pre-screening sample of 454, young women were selected and assigned to high and low chocolate craving groups (N = 36/group). The experimental procedure consisted in the elicitation and measurement of the cardiac defense and startle reflexes while viewing chocolate and standard affective images selected from the International Affective Picture System. In response to chocolate images, high cravers reported more pleasure and arousal but less control than low cravers. In high cravers, viewing chocolate images inhibited the cardiac defense but potentiated the startle reflex, as compared to low cravers. The results confirmed at the physiological level that the motivational state that underlies the experience of chocolate craving include both appetitive (inhibition of the defense reflex) and aversive (potentiation of the startle response) components. The findings supported a motivational conflict theory of chocolate craving.

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Available from: Sonia Rodríguez-Ruiz, Mar 22, 2015
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    • "First, food deprivation/hunger affects the response to food images on several levels. Short term food deprivation affects responses to food pictures as demonstrated for implicit food evaluation (e.g., Seibt et al., 2007; Hoefling and Strack, 2008), salivation (e.g., Wooley and Wooley, 1981), autonomic responding (e.g., Rodriguez et al., 2005), visual attentional processing (e.g., Stockburger et al., 2009b) and neural reward system activity (e.g., Labar et al., 2001; Uher et al., 2006; Castellanos et al., 2009; Goldstone et al., 2009). Second, food image responses reliably differentiate individuals with abnormal eating behavior from healthy controls: altered food cue processing has been reported in individuals with restrained (Blechert et al., 2010; Burger and Stice, 2011), external (Nijs et al., 2009) or emotional eating (Bohon et al., 2009), as well as in patients with eating disorders (Blechert et al., 2011; Nikendei et al., 2012) or obesity (Nijs and Franken, 2012; Martens et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Our current environment is characterized by the omnipresence of food cues. The sight and smell of real foods, but also graphically depictions of appetizing foods, can guide our eating behavior, for example, by eliciting food craving and influencing food choice. The relevance of visual food cues on human information processing has been demonstrated by a growing body of studies employing food images across the disciplines of psychology, medicine, and neuroscience. However, currently used food image sets vary considerably across laboratories and image characteristics (contrast, brightness, etc.) and food composition (calories, macronutrients, etc.) are often unspecified. These factors might have contributed to some of the inconsistencies of this research. To remedy this, we developed food-pics, a picture database comprising 568 food images and 315 non-food images along with detailed meta-data. A total of N = 1988 individuals with large variance in age and weight from German speaking countries and North America provided normative ratings of valence, arousal, palatability, desire to eat, recognizability and visual complexity. Furthermore, data on macronutrients (g), energy density (kcal), and physical image characteristics (color composition, contrast, brightness, size, complexity) are provided. The food-pics image data base is freely available under the creative commons license with the hope that the set will facilitate standardization and comparability across studies and advance experimental research on the determinants of eating behavior.
    Frontiers in Psychology 05/2014; 5. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00617 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "Partially redundant gut hormone systems sense homeostatic deprivation effects and communicate with the hypothalamus and higher brain systems through several bidirectional pathways [6]. These hormonal adaptations are paralleled by changes in other responses systems such as in implicit food evaluation [7], [8], salivation [9], interoception and autonomic responding [10], [11], visual attentional processing [12], as well as neural reward system activity [13], [14], [15], [16] among others. Thus, the body attentional, experiential and motivational systems are attuned for food search to secure caloric balance. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many individuals restrict their food intake to prevent weight gain. This restriction has both homeostatic and hedonic effects but their relative contribution is currently unclear. To isolate hedonic effects of food restriction, we exposed regular chocolate eaters to one week of chocolate deprivation but otherwise regular eating. Before and after this hedonic deprivation, participants viewed images of chocolate and images of high-calorie but non-chocolate containing foods, while experiential, behavioral and eyeblink startle responses were measured. Compared to satiety, hedonic deprivation triggered increased chocolate wanting, liking, and chocolate consumption but also feelings of frustration and startle potentiation during the intertrial intervals. Deprivation was further characterized by startle inhibition during both chocolate and food images relative to the intertrial intervals. Individuals who responded with frustration to the manipulation and those who scored high on a questionnaire of impulsivity showed more relative startle inhibition. The results reveal the profound effects of hedonic deprivation on experiential, behavioral and attentional/appetitive response systems and underscore the role of individual differences and state variables for startle modulation. Implications for dieting research and practice as well as for eating and weight disorders are discussed.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85679. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085679 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Thus, a constant self-monitoring and -regulation of eating behavior is necessary to avoid indulging in eating palatable, high caloric foods (Lowe, 2003). Food- and food-cue exposure trigger so-called cephalic phase responses that prepare the organism for the consumption of food and are associated with an increase in craving for those foods (Nederkoorn et al., 2000; Legenbauer et al., 2004; Rodríguez et al., 2005). Likewise, neuroimaging studies have shown that presentation of visual food-cues markedly activate the human brain, particularly subcortical areas associated with reward and incentive salience (Wang et al., 2004; Kenny, 2011; Carnell et al., 2012; García-García et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: In our current obesogenic environment, exposure to visual food-cues can easily lead to craving and overeating because short-term, pleasurable effects of food intake dominate over the anticipated long-term adverse effects such as weight gain and associated health problems. Here we contrasted these two conditions during food-cue presentation while acquiring event-related potentials (ERPs) and subjective craving ratings. Female participants (n = 25) were presented with either high-calorie (HC) or low-calorie (LC) food images under instructions to imagine either immediate (NOW) or long-term effects (LATER) of consumption. On subjective ratings for HC foods, the LATER perspective reduced cravings as compared to the NOW perspective. For LC foods, by contrast, craving increased under the LATER perspective. Early ERPs (occipital N1, 150-200 ms) were sensitive to food type but not to perspective. Late ERPs (late positive potential, LPP, 350-550 ms) were larger in the HC-LATER condition than in all other conditions, possibly indicating that a cognitive focus on negative long-term consequences induced negative arousal. This enhancement for HC-LATER attenuated to the level of the LC conditions during the later slow wave (550-3000 ms), but amplitude in the HC-NOW condition was larger than in all other conditions, possibly due to a delayed appetitive response. Across all conditions, LPP amplitudes were positively correlated with self-reported emotional eating. In sum, results reveal that regulation effects are secondary to an early attentional analysis of food type and dynamically evolve over time. Adopting a long-term perspective on eating might promote a healthier food choice across a range of food types.
    Frontiers in Psychology 09/2013; 4:669. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00669 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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