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Watching happy faces potentiates incentive salience but not hedonic reactions to palatable food cues in overweight/obese adults.

Authors
  • Soussignan, Robert1
  • Schaal, Benoist2
  • Jiang, Tao3
  • 1 Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Group, Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation, CNRS (UMR 6265), Université de Bourgogne, INRA, 9E boulevard Jeanne D'arc, Dijon, France. Electronic address: [email protected] , (France)
  • 2 Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Group, Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation, CNRS (UMR 6265), Université de Bourgogne, INRA, 9E boulevard Jeanne D'arc, Dijon, France. , (France)
  • 3 Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon, CNRS (UMR 5292), Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1-INSERM, Lyon, France. , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Appetite
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2019
Volume
133
Pages
83–92
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.10.024
PMID: 30367892
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

'Wanting' and 'liking' are mediated by distinct brain reward systems but their dissociation in human appetite and overeating remains debated. Further, the influence of socioemotional cues on food reward is little explored. We examined these issues in overweight/obese (OW/OB) and normal-weight (NW) participants who watched food images varying in palatability in the same time as videoclips of avatars looking at the food images while displaying facial expressions (happy, disgust or neutral) with their gaze directed only toward the food or consecutively toward the food and participants. We measured heart rate (HR) deceleration as an index of attentional/incentive salience, facial EMG activity as an index of hedonic or disgust reactions, and self-report of wanting and liking. OW/OB participants exhibited a larger HR deceleration to palatable food pictures than NW participants suggesting that they attributed greater incentive salience to food cues. However, in contrast to NW participants, they did not display increased hedonic facial reactions to the liked food cues. Subjective ratings of wanting and liking did not differentiate the two groups. Further, OW/OB participants had more pronounced HR deceleration than NW participants to palatable food cues when they watched avatars' happy faces gazing at the food. In line with the "incentive-sensitization" hypothesis, our data suggest that incentive salience attribution and not hedonic reactivity is increased in OW/OB individuals and that happy faces, as social reward cues, potentiate implicit wanting in OW/OB people. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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