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Snack food as a modulator of human resting-state functional connectivity

  • Andrea Mendez-Torrijos (a1), Silke Kreitz (a1), Claudiu Ivan (a1), Laura Konerth (a1), Julie Rösch (a2), Monika Pischetsrieder (a3), Gunther Moll (a4), Oliver Kratz (a4), Arnd Dörfler (a2), Stefanie Horndasch (a4) and Andreas Hess (a1)...

Abstract

Objective

To elucidate the mechanisms of how snack foods may induce non-homeostatic food intake, we used resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), as resting state networks can individually adapt to experience after short time exposures. In addition, we used graph theoretical analysis together with machine learning techniques (support vector machine) to identifying biomarkers that can categorize between high-caloric (potato chips) vs. low-caloric (zucchini) food stimulation.

Methods

Seventeen healthy human subjects with body mass index (BMI) 19 to 27 underwent 2 different fMRI sessions where an initial resting state scan was acquired, followed by visual presentation of different images of potato chips and zucchini. There was then a 5-minute pause to ingest food (day 1=potato chips, day 3=zucchini), followed by a second resting state scan. fMRI data were further analyzed using graph theory analysis and support vector machine techniques.

Results

Potato chips vs. zucchini stimulation led to significant connectivity changes. The support vector machine was able to accurately categorize the 2 types of food stimuli with 100% accuracy. Visual, auditory, and somatosensory structures, as well as thalamus, insula, and basal ganglia were found to be important for food classification. After potato chips consumption, the BMI was associated with the path length and degree in nucleus accumbens, middle temporal gyrus, and thalamus.

Conclusion

The results suggest that high vs. low caloric food stimulation in healthy individuals can induce significant changes in resting state networks. These changes can be detected using graph theory measures in conjunction with support vector machine. Additionally, we found that the BMI affects the response of the nucleus accumbens when high caloric food is consumed.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Prof. Andreas Hess, Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Fahrstraße 17, 91054 Erlangen (Deutschland). (Email: Andreas.Hess@fau.de)

Footnotes

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These authors contributed equally.

We would like to thank all the participants of the study. We would also like to thank the excellent technical support in the Neuroradiology Department of the FAU, as well as Jutta Prade and Marina Sergeeva from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology.

This project was supported by the Neurotrition Project by FAU Emerging Fields Initiative.

Footnotes

References

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