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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    • "Food craving refers to a strong desire to consume specific foods of which chocolate is the most often craved one (Weingarten & Elston, 1990, 1991). The sight, smell, and taste of high-calorie foods and other food-cues elicit cephalic phase responses, which prepare the organism for digestion and are associated with increased craving (Nederkoorn, Smulders, & Jansen, 2000; Rodríguez, Fernandez, Cepeda-Benito, & Vila, 2005). On a neuronal level, those processes are accompanied by strong activation of limbic and paralimbic brain structures associated with reward and incentive salience such as the insula, amygdala, striatum, and orbitofrontal cortex (García-García et al., 2013; Kenny, 2011; Volkow, Wang, Fowler, Tomasi, & Baler, 2012; Volkow, Wang, Tomasi, & Baler, 2013). "
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