Neural Processing of Calories in brain reward areas can be modulated by reward sensitivity.

I. van Rijn, S. Griffioen-Roose, C. de Graaf, P.A.M. Smeets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Afood’srewardvalueisdependentonitscaloriccontent.Furthermore,afood’sacuterewardvaluealsodependsonhungerstate.Thedrivetoobtainrewards(rewardsensitivity),however,differsbetweenindividuals.Here,weassessedtheassociationbetweenbrainresponsestocaloriesinthemouthandtraitrewardsensitivityindifferenthungerstates.Firstly,weassessedthisindatafromafunctionalneuroimagingstudy(vanRijnetal.,2015),inwhichparticipants(n=30)tastedsimplesolutionsofanon-caloricsweetenerwithorwithoutanon-sweetcarbohydrate(maltodextrin)duringhungerandsatiety.Secondly,weexpandedtheseanalysestoregulardrinksbyassessingthesamerelationshipindatafromastudyinwhichsoftdrinkssweetenedwitheithersucroseoranon-caloricsweetenerwereadministeredduringhunger(n=18)(Griffioen-Rooseetal.,2013).First,tasteactivationbythenon-caloricsolution/softdrinkwassubtractedfromthatbythecaloricsolution/softdrinktoeliminatesweetnesseffectsandretainactivationinducedbycalories.Subsequently,thisdifferenceintasteactivationwascorrelatedwithrewardsensitivityasmeasuredwiththeBASdrivesubscaleoftheBehavioralActivationSystem(BAS)questionnaire.Whenparticipantswerehungryandtastedcaloriesfromthesimplesolution,brainactivationintherightventralstriatum(caudate),rightamygdalaandanteriorcingulatecortex(bilaterally)correlatednegativelywithBASdrivescores.Incontrast,whenparticipantsweresatiated,tasteresponsescorrelatedpositivelywithBASdrivescoresintheleftcaudate.Theseresultswerenotreplicatedforsoftdrinks.Thus,neuralresponsestooralcaloriesfrommaltodextrinweremodulatedbyrewardsensitivityinreward-relatedbrainareas.Thiswasnotthecaseforsucrose.Thismaybeduetothedirectdetectionofmaltodextrin,butnotsucroseintheoralcavity.Also,inafamiliarbeverage,detectionofcaloriespersemaybeoverruledbyaconditionedresponsetoitsflavor.Inconclusion,thebrainrewardresponsetocaloriesfromalongchainstarchsugar(maltodextrin)varieswithtraitrewardsensitivity.Theabsenceofthiseffectinafamiliarbeveragewarrantsfurtherresearchintoitsrelevanceforreallifeingestivebehavior.
Original languageEnglish
Article number371
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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