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Emotional eating and instructed food-cue processing in adolescents: an ERP study

Wu, J., Willner, C. J., Hill, C., Fearon, P., Mayes, L. C. and Crowley, M. J. (2017) Emotional eating and instructed food-cue processing in adolescents: an ERP study. Biological Psychology, 132. pp. 27-36. ISSN 0301-0511

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2017.10.012


We examined the P3 (250-500ms) and Late Positive Potential (LPP; 500-2000ms) event-related potentials (ERPs) to food vs. nonfood cues among adolescents reporting on emotional eating (EE) behavior. Eighty-six adolescents 10-17 years old were tested using an instructed food versus nonfood cue viewing task (imagine food taste) during high-density EEG recording. Self-report data showed that EE increased with age in girls, but not in boys. Both P3 and LPP amplitudes were greater for food vs. nonfood cues (food-cue bias). Exploratory analyses revealed that, during the LPP time period, greater EE was associated with a more positive food-cue bias in the fronto-central region. This heightened fronto-central food-cue bias LPP is in line with a more activated prefrontal attention system. The results suggest that adolescents with higher EE may engage more top-down cognitive resources to regulate their automatic emotional response to food cues, and/or they may exhibit greater reward network activation to food cues than do adolescents with lower EE, even in the absence of an emotional mood induction.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:73752
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adolescence, Emotional eating, Event-related potentials, Food-cue processing, Late positive potential


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