Sweet taste liking is associated with impulsive behaviors in humans

Front Behav Neurosci. 2014 Jun 17;8:228. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00228. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Evidence from both human and animal studies suggests that sensitivity to rewarding stimuli is positively associated with impulsive behaviors, including both impulsive decision making and inhibitory control. The current study examined associations between the hedonic value of a sweet taste and two forms of impulsivity (impulsive choice and impulsive action) in healthy young adults (N = 100). Participants completed a sweet taste test in which they rated their liking of various sweetness concentrations. Subjects also completed measures of impulsive choice (delay discounting), and impulsive action (go/no-go task). Subjects who discounted more steeply (i.e., greater impulsive choice) liked the high sweetness concentration solutions more. By contrast, sweet liking was not related to impulsive action. These findings indicate that impulsive choice may be associated with heightened sensitivity to the hedonic value of a rewarding stimulus, and that these constructs might share common underlying neurobiological mechanisms.

Keywords: decision-making; delay discounting; impulsive action; impulsive choice; reward sensitivity; sucrose; sweet taste.