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Poster A107

The Connection Between Cravings and Food-Related Inhibitory Control: Observations from an Event-Related Potential (ERP) Study

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Hayley K. Cooper1 (, Kaylie A. Carbine1, James D. LeCheminant2, Michael J. Larson2; 1California State University Dominguez Hills, 2Brigham Young University

Individuals who experience high cravings are likely to engage in overeating. Addiction literature demonstrates that craving level may mediate the relationship between impulsivity and substance consumption. However, it’s unclear in the food literature if higher cravings coincide with lower levels of food-related inhibitory control. We utilized event-related potentials (ERPs) to test if people with high cravings show lower levels of food-related inhibition, as measured by ERPs. N2 and P3 ERPs were used to observe levels of inhibitory control, whose amplitudes get larger (i.e., more negative or positive, respectively) for higher levels of inhibitory control. 147 participants (Mage: 26.37; SDage: 9.79; 53.7% female) completed two food go/no-go tasks, one where responses were withheld to images of high-calorie foods, and one where responses were withheld to images of low-calorie foods, while EEG data were recorded. Participants also completed the Food Cravings Questionnaire (FCQ) State Scale, a 39-item measure of frequency and intensity of food cravings. Results indicated a negative correlation of r= -.186 (p=.024) between the N2 difference amplitude during the high-calorie task and the FCQ. Relationships between the N2 difference amplitude during the low-calorie task and the FCQ, and the P3 difference amplitude during the high and low-calorie tasks and the FCQ were non-significant (ps>.15). Results indicate individuals with higher cravings exhibit heightened food-related inhibition towards high-calorie foods, exemplified by the larger N2 amplitude and higher FCQ score. Ultimately, individuals with higher cravings may need greater food-related inhibitory control to decline high-calorie foods.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control


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April 13–16  |  2024