Article: article from journal or magazin.
Brain dynamics of meal size selection in humans.
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
Although neuroimaging research has evidenced specific responses to visual food stimuli based on their nutritional quality (e.g., energy density, fat content), brain processes underlying portion size selection remain largely unexplored. We identified spatio-temporal brain dynamics in response to meal images varying in portion size during a task of ideal portion selection for prospective lunch intake and expected satiety. Brain responses to meal portions judged by the participants as 'too small', 'ideal' and 'too big' were measured by means of electro-encephalographic (EEG) recordings in 21 normal-weight women. During an early stage of meal viewing (105-145ms), data showed an incremental increase of the head-surface global electric field strength (quantified via global field power; GFP) as portion judgments ranged from 'too small' to 'too big'. Estimations of neural source activity revealed that brain regions underlying this effect were located in the insula, middle frontal gyrus and middle temporal gyrus, and are similar to those reported in previous studies investigating responses to changes in food nutritional content. In contrast, during a later stage (230-270ms), GFP was maximal for the 'ideal' relative to the 'non-ideal' portion sizes. Greater neural source activity to 'ideal' vs. 'non-ideal' portion sizes was observed in the inferior parietal lobule, superior temporal gyrus and mid-posterior cingulate gyrus. Collectively, our results provide evidence that several brain regions involved in attention and adaptive behavior track 'ideal' meal portion sizes as early as 230ms during visual encounter. That is, responses do not show an increase paralleling the amount of food viewed (and, in extension, the amount of reward), but are shaped by regulatory mechanisms.
Web of science
Last modification date