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Overweight adults are more impulsive than normal weight adults: Evidence from ERPs during a chocolate-related delayed discounting task.

08:00 EDT 30th August 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Overweight adults are more impulsive than normal weight adults: Evidence from ERPs during a chocolate-related delayed discounting task."

Overweight or obesity can be accompanied by abnormalities in executive function and related neural markers. The aim of the present study was to investigate the behavioral and neural correlates of food-related decision-making in overweight and normal-weight adults. We used a delayed discounting task (DDT), which requires participants to choose between smaller immediate rewards and larger delayed rewards. In total, 24 overweight adults and 24 normal-weight adults participated; all participants engaged with a food-related DDT, and their responses were measured using event-related potentials (ERPs). In the current study, we take the area under the curve (AUC), number of smaller immediate rewards, and reaction times (RTs) as behavioral indicators of DDT. AUC is an individual's discounting rate, with smaller AUC reflecting more impulsive decision-making. Number of smaller immediate rewards also reflects impulsivity. For ERPs, N2, reward-related positivity, P3, and late positive component (LPC) were investigated. Behavioral results showed smaller AUC, more choice of smaller immediate rewards, and longer RTs in overweight adults than in normal-weight adults. Neural markers showed that overweight adults elicited greater N2 in larger delayed rewards than in smaller immediate rewards and also elicited greater reward-related positivity than normal-weight adults. Moreover, the P3 and LPC mean amplitudes of overweight adults were greater than those of normal-weight adults. Pearson correlation analysis showed that body mass index (BMI) was positively related to P3 and LPC, while AUC was negatively related to P3. The findings thus suggest that overweight adults are more impulsive than normal-weight adults. Moreover, overweight adults might experience more cognitive conflict before their reaction, and they might allocate more cognitive resources to food-related stimuli and might have higher-order cognitive processes more involved in motivation or emotion regarding food-related stimuli. This is the first study investigating ERP correlates of food-related decision-making in overweight adults, and it enriches the theoretical models by providing neural markers for future study.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Neuropsychologia
ISSN: 1873-3514
Pages: 107181

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