Food addiction symptoms are related to neuroaffective responses to preferred binge food and erotic cues

Rafael Delgado-Rodríguez, Francesco Versace, Isabel Hernández-Rivero, Pedro Guerra, M. Carmen Fernández-Santaella, Laura Miccoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It has been proposed that some individuals succumb to maladaptive eating behaviors because, like those with addiction, they attribute high incentive salience to food-associated cues. Here, we tested whether women that attribute high incentive salience to food-associated cues report high food addiction symptomatology. In 76 college women, we assessed self-reported food addiction symptoms using the Yale Food Addiction Scale and we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs, a direct measure of brain activity) to preferred food, erotic, unpleasant, and neutral images. We used the amplitude of the late positive potential (LPP, a component of the ERPs) as an index of the incentive salience attributed to the images. Using a multivariate classification algorithm (k-means cluster analysis), we identified two neuroaffective reactivity profiles that have been previously associated with individual differences in the tendency to attribute incentive salience to cues and with differences in vulnerability to addictive behaviors. Results showed that women with elevated LPP responses to preferred food cues relative to erotic images report higher food addiction symptoms than women with low LPP responses to preferred food cues relative to other motivationally relevant stimuli. These results support the hypothesis that individual differences in the tendency to attribute incentive salience to food cues play an important role in modulating food addiction symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105687
JournalAppetite
Volume168
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Keywords

  • Addictive-like eating
  • Incentive salience
  • Late positive potential (LPP)
  • Preferred food-related cues
  • Reward
  • Sexual cues
  • Yale food addiction scale (YFAS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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