Unhealthy yet Avoidable-How Cognitive Bias Modification Alters Behavioral and Brain Responses to Food Cues in Individuals with Obesity

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Mehl , N , Morys , F , Villringer , A & Horstmann , A 2019 , ' Unhealthy yet Avoidable-How Cognitive Bias Modification Alters Behavioral and Brain Responses to Food Cues in Individuals with Obesity ' , Nutrients , vol. 11 , no. 4 , 874 . https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040874

Title: Unhealthy yet Avoidable-How Cognitive Bias Modification Alters Behavioral and Brain Responses to Food Cues in Individuals with Obesity
Author: Mehl, Nora; Morys, Filip; Villringer, Arno; Horstmann, Annette
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Psychology and Logopedics
Date: 2019-04-18
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Nutrients
ISSN: 2072-6643
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/303379
Abstract: Obesity is associated with automatically approaching problematic stimuli, such as unhealthy food. Cognitive bias modification (CBM) could beneficially impact problematic approach behavior. However, it is unclear which mechanisms are targeted by CBM in obesity. Candidate mechanisms include: (1) altering reward value of food stimuli; and (2) strengthening inhibitory abilities. Thirty-three obese adults completed either CBM or sham training during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning. CBM consisted of implicit training to approach healthy and avoid unhealthy foods. At baseline, approach tendencies towards food were present in all participants. Avoiding vs. approaching food was associated with higher activity in the right angular gyrus (rAG). CBM resulted in a diminished approach bias towards unhealthy food, decreased activation in the rAG, and increased activation in the anterior cingulate cortex. Relatedly, functional connectivity between the rAG and right superior frontal gyrus increased. Analysis of brain connectivity during rest revealed training-related connectivity changes of the inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral middle frontal gyri. Taken together, CBM strengthens avoidance tendencies when faced with unhealthy foods and alters activity in brain regions underpinning behavioral inhibition.
Subject: ALCOHOL-RELATED COGNITIONS
ATTENTION BIAS
AUTOMATIC ACTION-TENDENCIES
CONNECTIVITY
IMPLICIT
INHIBITORY CONTROL
NEURAL MECHANISMS
PARIETAL
REWARD
ROBUST
approach-avoidance task
cognitive bias modification
fMRI
obesity
515 Psychology
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