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. 2013 Feb 15;67:322-30.
doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.11.028. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Caloric Deprivation Increases Responsivity of Attention and Reward Brain Regions to Intake, Anticipated Intake, and Images of Palatable Foods

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Caloric Deprivation Increases Responsivity of Attention and Reward Brain Regions to Intake, Anticipated Intake, and Images of Palatable Foods

Eric Stice et al. Neuroimage. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Dietary restraint theoretically increases risk for binge eating, but prospective and experimental studies have produced contradictory findings, apparently because dietary restraint scales do not identify individuals who are reducing caloric intake. Yet, experimentally manipulated caloric deprivation increases responsivity of brain regions implicated in attention and reward to food images, which may contribute to binge eating. We tested whether self-imposed acute and longer-term caloric restriction increases responsivity of attention and reward regions to images, anticipated receipt, and receipt of palatable food using functional magnetic resonance imaging among female and male adolescents (Study 1 n=34; Study 2 n=51/81). Duration of acute caloric deprivation correlated positively with activation in regions implicated in attention, reward, and motivation in response to images, anticipated receipt, and receipt of palatable food (e.g., anterior cingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, putamen, and precentral gyrus respectively). Youth in a longer-term negative energy balance likewise showed greater activation in attention (anterior cingulate cortex, ventral medial prefrontal cortex), visual processing (superior visual cortex), reward (caudate) and memory (hippocampus) regions in response to receipt and anticipated receipt of palatable food relative to those in neutral or positive energy balance. Results confirm that self-imposed caloric deprivation increases responsivity of attention, reward, and motivation regions to food, which may explain why caloric deprivation weight loss diets typically do not produce lasting weight loss.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Activation in A) the left orbitofrontal cortex (MNI coordinates: −36, 47, −11, Z = 3.94, k = 12) and B) the right precentral gyrus (MNI: 54, 5, 22, Z = 4.32, k = 17) in response to images of food as a function of acute caloric deprivation in Study 1. Activation in C) the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (MNI coordinates: 51, 5, 40, Z = 3.99, k = 28) and D) the left putamen (MNI coordinates: −36, −13, 1, Z = 3.62, k = 43) in response to milkshake receipt and anticipated milkshake receipt as a function of acute caloric deprivation in Study 2. Greater activation in E) the left caudate (MNI coordinates: −21, −1, 22, Z = 4.71, k = 12) and F) the right caudate (MNI coordinates: 21, 8, 22, Z = 4.22, k = 11) in response to milkshake receipt and anticipated milkshake receipt in the negative energy balance group compared to the energy stable group.

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