Poster E110, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Locus of hunger and amygdala activation to a sweet taste in Hispanic young adults
Jacquelyn Szajer1, Aaron Jacobson2, Claire Murphy1,2; 1SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, 2San Diego State University
Hispanic ethnic groups have been shown to consume higher amounts of sugar-sweetened foods and to have a higher risk for health conditions associated with high dietary sugar levels (e.g., diabetes, fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome), both of which are associated with changes in brain activation and greater risk for cognitive decline in aging. Taste is a determinant of food preference and palatability, and an important predictor of diet. Research has shown differences in brain response to visual food cues among Hispanics, but little research exists on differences in response to taste. We examined differences in fMRI activation during hedonic evaluation of a sweet taste (sucrose) in a hunger state between 16 Hispanic and 16 non-Hispanic young adults, using a 3T-GE-MR-750 scanner. Taste stimuli were administered orally and rated for pleasantness on a general Labeled Magnitude Scale. The Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) was administered to assess hunger and eating behavior. Hispanics had significantly lower left amygdala activation (p = .028) and significantly lower scores on TFEQ Scale3 (Locus of Hunger) than non-Hispanics (p = .001). Within-group exploratory correlations revealed a significant direct correlation between Locus of Hunger and left amygdala activation, but only in the Hispanic group (p = .01). Ethnic differences in brain activation to rewarding tastes have important implications for diet and eating behavior, especially considering the increased risk for insulin-related dysfunction among Hispanic populations, and associated increased risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease in aging. Supported by NIH grant #AG004085-26 from the NIA to CM.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Multisensory