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Challenging inhibitory control with high- and low-calorie food: A behavioural and TMS study

Bianco, Valentina; Veniero, Domenica; D’Acunto, Alessia; Koch, Giacomo; Picazio, Silvia

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Authors

Valentina Bianco

Alessia D’Acunto

Giacomo Koch

Silvia Picazio



Abstract

Most people are often tempted by their impulses to “indulge” in high-calorie food, even if this behaviour is not consistent with their goal to control weight in the long term and might not be healthy. The outcome of this conflict is strongly dependent on inhibitory control. It has already been reported that individuals with weaker inhibitory control consume more high-calorie food, are more often unsuccessful dieters, overweight or obese compared to people with more effective inhibitory control. In the present study, we aimed at investigating inhibitory control in the context of human eating behaviour. A sample of 20 healthy normal-weight adults performed a 50% probability visual affective Go/NoGo task involving food (high- and low-calorie) and non-food images as stimuli. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was administered over the right primary motor cortex (M1) either 300 ms after image presentation to measure corticospinal excitability during the different stimulus categories or 300 ms after the appearance of a fixation point, as a control stimulation condition. The experimental session consisted of a food target and a non-food target block. Behavioural outcomes showed a natural implicit inclination towards high-calorie food in that participants were faster and more accurate compared to the other categories. This advantage was selectively deleted by TMS, which slowed down reaction times. MEPs did not differ according to the stimulus category, but, as expected, were bigger for Go compared to NoGo trials. Participants judged high-calorie food also as more appetising than low-calorie food images. Overall, our results point to a differential modulation when targeting inhibitory control, in favour of the more palatable food category (high-calorie). Present data suggest that the activity of the motor system is modulated by food nutritional value, being more engaged by appetising food. Future work should explore to what extent these processes are affected in patients with eating disorders and should aim to better characterise the related dynamics of cortical connectivity within the motor network.

Citation

Bianco, V., Veniero, D., D’Acunto, A., Koch, G., & Picazio, S. (2023). Challenging inhibitory control with high- and low-calorie food: A behavioural and TMS study. Frontiers in Nutrition, 10, Article 1016017. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2023.1016017

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 27, 2023
Online Publication Date Feb 22, 2023
Publication Date Mar 22, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 17, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 17, 2023
Journal Frontiers in Nutrition
Electronic ISSN 2296-861X
Publisher Frontiers Media SA
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Article Number 1016017
DOI https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2023.1016017
Keywords Nutrition, food, high-calorie, low-calorie, Go/NoGo, inhibitory-control, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), primary motor cortex (M1)
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/18518102
Publisher URL https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2023.1016017/full
Additional Information © 2023 Bianco, Veniero, D’Acunto, Koch and Picazio. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Licence
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
© 2023 Bianco, Veniero, D’Acunto, Koch and Picazio. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.




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