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Dorsolateral and medial prefrontal cortex mediate the influence of incidental priming on economic decision making in obesity

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Morys,  Filip
Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Horstmann,  Annette
Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Collaborative Research Center Obesity Mechanisms, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Citation

Morys, F., Bode, S., & Horstmann, A. (2018). Dorsolateral and medial prefrontal cortex mediate the influence of incidental priming on economic decision making in obesity. Scientific Reports, 8: 17595. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-35834-1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-A35B-0
Abstract
Obese individuals discount future rewards to a higher degree than lean individuals, which is generally considered disadvantageous. Moreover, their decisions are altered more easily by decision-irrelevant cues. Here, we investigated neural correlates of this phenomenon using functional MRI. We tested 30 lean and 26 obese human subjects on a primed delay discounting paradigm using gustatory and visual cues of positive, neutral and negative valence to bias their intertemporal preferences. We hypothesised that activation differences in reward-related and behavioural control areas, and changes in connectivity between these areas, would reflect the effect of these cues. Here, obese subjects were more susceptible to priming with negative gustatory cues towards delayed choices as opposed to lean subjects. This was related to lower activity in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during priming. Modulation of functional connectivity between the dlPFC and the ventromedial PFC by the behavioural priming effect correlated negatively with BMI. This might indicate that default goals of obese individuals were different from those of lean participants, as the dlPFC has been suggested to be involved in internal goal pursuit. The present results further our understanding of the role of the PFC in decision-making and might inform future weight-management approaches based on non-invasive brain stimulation.