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  How do memory and attention influence food decisions and what are the underlying neuronal mechanisms?

Thieleking, R., Medawar, E., Villringer, A., & Witte, A. V. (2020). How do memory and attention influence food decisions and what are the underlying neuronal mechanisms?. Poster presented at 16th Research Festival of Life Sciences 2020, Leipzig, Germany.

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RFL2020_poster_RT_final.pdf (Preprint), 2MB
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 Creators:
Thieleking, Ronja1, Author           
Medawar, Evelyn1, Author           
Villringer, Arno1, Author           
Witte, A. Veronica1, Author           
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1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              

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 Abstract: Escalating world-wide obesity prevalence urges the need to understand unhealthy eating behaviour and potential modifiers. Human behavioural studies suggest that besides the internal state (hungry or satiated) and external interaction (attention to food cues) also learning and memory play an important role in food preferences and decisions (Booth et al., 1982; Laney et al., 2007). Namely, being hungry increases arousal and the susceptibility for food cues (Montagrin et al., 2019). This increased attention to food cues might explain that hunger leads to better memory performance for food versus non-food items (Morris & Dolan, 2001). However, little is known about the underlying neurobiological mechanisms, whether food memory is influenced by the individual's preferences or if the process is biased by attention deficits. We thus aim to determine the interplay of memory, attention and food desires and related underlying mechanisms in the context of food cue evaluation. Therefore, we are conducting a neuroimaging study on food wanting, memory and attention with overweight participants (n=60, BMI: 25-30kg/m²) featuring rather naive eating behaviour. Measures of interest are hippocampus and amygdala activity during memory encoding and retrieval in two subsequent fMRI tasks (Thieleking et al., in prep), (food) wanting ratings, performance during retrieval, hunger ratings, brain microstructure (from diffusion-weighted imaging) and attention efficiency assessed by the Attention Network Test (Fan et al., 2002). Lastly, we study longitudinal changes in memory performance and attention efficiency after a two-week dietary intervention. Findings of this dietary intervention could pave the way for new approaches to reduce unhealthy eating behaviour and eventually overweight and obesity.

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 Dates: 2020-01-30
 Publication Status: Not specified
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Title: 16th Research Festival of Life Sciences 2020
Place of Event: Leipzig, Germany
Start-/End Date: 2020-01-30 - 2020-01-30

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