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Nutrients 2014, 6(1), 319-341; doi:10.3390/nu6010319
Review

High-Caloric and Chocolate Stimuli Processing in Healthy Humans: An Integration of Functional Imaging and Electrophysiological Findings

*  and
Received: 2 September 2013; in revised form: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 5 December 2013 / Published: 10 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chocolate and Cocoa in Human Health)
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Abstract: There has been a great deal of interest in understanding how the human brain processes appetitive food cues, and knowing how such cues elicit craving responses is particularly relevant when current eating behavior trends within Westernized societies are considered. One substance that holds a special place with regard to food preference is chocolate, and studies that used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potentials (ERPs) have identified neural regions and electrical signatures that are elicited by chocolate cue presentations. This review will examine fMRI and ERP findings from studies that used high-caloric food and chocolate cues as stimuli, with a focus on responses observed in samples of healthy participants, as opposed to those with eating-related pathology. The utility of using high-caloric and chocolate stimuli as a means of understanding the human reward system will also be highlighted, as these findings may be particularly important for understanding processes related to pathological overeating and addiction to illicit substances. Finally, research from our own lab that focused on chocolate stimulus processing in chocolate cravers and non-cravers will be discussed, as the approach used may help bridge fMRI and ERP findings so that a more complete understanding of appetitive stimulus processing in the temporal and spatial domains may be established.
Keywords: chocolate; fMRI; ERPs; high-caloric chocolate; fMRI; ERPs; high-caloric
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Asmaro, D.; Liotti, M. High-Caloric and Chocolate Stimuli Processing in Healthy Humans: An Integration of Functional Imaging and Electrophysiological Findings. Nutrients 2014, 6, 319-341.

AMA Style

Asmaro D, Liotti M. High-Caloric and Chocolate Stimuli Processing in Healthy Humans: An Integration of Functional Imaging and Electrophysiological Findings. Nutrients. 2014; 6(1):319-341.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Asmaro, Deyar; Liotti, Mario. 2014. "High-Caloric and Chocolate Stimuli Processing in Healthy Humans: An Integration of Functional Imaging and Electrophysiological Findings." Nutrients 6, no. 1: 319-341.


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