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Poster D121

Dietary cognitive regulation depends on strategy-specific modulation of choice attributes

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

Hyuna Cho1 (, Cendri Hutcherson1,2; 1University of Toronto, 2Rotman Research Institute

While many aspire to make better food choices, it remains unclear what strategy we should employ for greater regulatory success. For example, to make lasting, healthier food choices, should we try to suppress our appetitive responses or reformulate our thoughts? In the present study, hungry participants (N = 63) first rated the liking of 208 food images (1-6). Then, foods were sorted into 3 separate conditions of 60 foods with roughly equal liking: Respond Naturally, Focus on Health, or Decrease Desire. In this regulated choice phase, participants made decisions to eat (1-4) under one of these 3 conditions in interleaved blocks. Afterwards, participants made post-regulation liking ratings, as well as taste and health ratings of each food (1-6). After regulating their choices, participants disliked foods more post-regulation in the Desire condition (p = .01), but liked foods more in the Health condition (p = 0.005). Moreover, regulation strategies differed in how food attributes were considered during food liking evaluations. While both regulation conditions decreased the influence of Taste on post-regulatory Liking change (pDesire < .001, pHealth = .002), the Health condition substantially increased the Liking of healthy foods more after regulation (p < .001). We identified neural predictors of liking changes across regulation strategies, as well as changes in neural signatures of how food attributes are considered during these evaluations which predict regulatory success. These results suggest that regulation strategies may be implemented by different neural mechanisms and result in different behavioral consequences.

Topic Area: THINKING: Decision making


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