Biased towards food: Electrophysiological evidence for biased attention to food stimuli

Sanjay Kumar, Suzanne Higgs, Femke Rutters, Glyn W Humphreys
Brain and Cognition 2016, 110: 85-93
We investigated the neural mechanisms involved in bias for food stimuli in our visual environment using event related lateralized (ERL) responses. The participants were presented with a cue (food or non-food item) to either identify or hold in working memory. Subsequently, they had to search for a target in a 2-item display where target and distractor stimuli were each flanked by a picture of a food or a non-food item. The behavioural data showed that performance was strongly affected by food cues, especially when food was held in WM compared to when the cues were merely identified. The temporal dynamics of electrophysiological measures of attention (the N1pc and N2pc) showed that the orienting of attention towards food stimuli was associated with two different mechanisms; an early stage of attentional suppression followed by a later stage of attentional orienting towards food stimuli. In contrast, non-food cues were associated only with the guidance of attention to or away from cued stimuli on valid and invalid trials. The results demonstrate that food items, perhaps due to their motivational significance modulate the early orienting of attention, including an initial suppressive response to food items.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"