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Poster D23

Understanding dietary regulatory success as weight status-dependent changes in large-scale cortical organization.

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Remi Janet1 (, Jonathan Smallwood1, Cendri Hutcherson2,3, Hilke Plassmann4, Bronte McKeown1, Anita Tusche1,5; 1Departments of Psychology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, 2Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON Canada, 3Department of Marketing, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON Canada, 4Marketing Area, INSEAD and Paris Brain Institute, Sorbonne University, France, 5Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, United States

Individuals differ in their ability to regulate their diets. Why? Our study tested the notion that flexible, goal-consistent dietary choices result from adopting – and shifting – large-scale cortical brain states in a multi-dimensional space of principal dimensions of brain variation (gradients). These gradients were originally determined from the decomposition of resting state data from the Human Connectome Project and suggested to constitute a core organizing axis of the brain. We tested if shifts in brain states along established large-scale cortical gradients predict short-term regulatory success in an established fMRI food choice task (N=123). We also examined how weight status moderates this link (captured in individuals’ body mass index, BMI). Participants made choices under a non-constrains (NC) and health-focused condition (HC) in the food task. We projected task-evoked brain states measured under both choice conditions in a three-dimensional space of established gradients of large-scale cortical organization. Shifts in task-based brain states between natural and regulatory food choices (NC and HC) predict variance in people’s dietary regulated behavior (r2=0.328, p=0.015). Results also revealed a significant interaction effect between the magnitude of these neural shifts in the gradient space and BMI (β=3.12, p=0.016). Leaner participants showed smaller shifts to achieve regulatory success, suggesting that their natural and regulatory dietary brain states are more similar. We show that variance in dietary success across people can be understood as changes along neurocognitive functional hierarchies. Our results indicate how dietary control might emerge from the cortex through varying similarities along established macroscale patterns of organization.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Goal maintenance & switching


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