Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the results of the three food-cue paradigms most commonly used for functional neuroimaging studies to determine: i) commonalities and differences in the neural response patterns by paradigm and ii) the relative robustness and reliability of responses to each paradigm.
Methods: Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies using standardized stereotactic coordinates to report brain responses to food cues were identified using online databases. Studies were grouped by food-cue modality as: i) tastes (8 studies); ii) odors (8 studies); and, iii) images (11 studies). Activation likelihood estimation was used to identify statistically reliable regional responses within each stimulation paradigm.
Results: Brain response distributions were distinctly different for the three stimulation modalities, corresponding to known differences in location of the respective primary and associative cortices. Visual stimulation induced the most robust and extensive responses. The left anterior insula was the only brain region reliably responding to all three stimulus categories.
Conclusions: These findings suggest visual food-cue paradigm as promising candidate for imaging studies addressing the neural substrate of therapeutic interventions.
Copyright © 2014 The Obesity Society.