Neural Correlates of the Perception of Spoiled Food Stimuli
Emotional eating, a trait-like style of food intake in response to negative emotion states, represents an important aspect of overeating and eating related psychopathology. The mechanisms of emotional eating both on experiential and neuronal levels are not well delineated. We recorded event related potentials (ERPs) while individuals with high or low emotional eating style (HEE, n=25; LEE, n=20) viewed and rated pictures of high-caloric food during neutral state vs. negative idiosyncratic emotion induction. Craving ratings increased in HEE and decreased in LEE during negative relative to neutral states. ERPs to food pictures showed an enhanced late positive potential (LPP) over parieto-occipital regions for HEE compared to LEE. Emotional state modulated food picture evoked ERPs over right frontal regions in HEE only. This suggests that appetitive food processing is susceptible to both concurrent emotion and habitual eating style which is of relevance for overeating in healthy and abnormal eating.