Journal article

Modifying food items valuation and weight with gamified executive control training


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  • 26.05.2021
Published in:
  • Royal Society Open Science. - The Royal Society. - 2021, vol. 8, no. 5, p. 1-22
English Recent lines of research suggest that repeated executive control of motor responses to food items modifies their perceived value and in turn their consumption. Cognitive interventions involving the practice of motor control and attentional tasks have thus been advanced as potential approach to improve eating habits. Yet, their efficacy remains debated, notably due to a lack of proper control for the effects of expectations. We examined whether a one-month intervention combining the practice of Go/NoGo and Cue approach training modified the perceived palatability of food items (i.e. decrease in unhealthy and increase in healthy food items' palatability ratings), and in turn participants’ weights. We assessed our hypotheses with a parallel, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Motivation and adherence to the intervention were maximized by a professional-level gamification of the training tasks. The control intervention differed from the experimental intervention only in the biasing of the stimulus–response mapping rules, enabling to balance expectations between the two groups and thus to conclude on the causal influence of motoric control on items valuation. We found a larger decrease of the unhealthy items' palatability ratings in the experimental (20.6%) than control group (13.1%). However, we did not find any increase of the healthy items’ ratings or weight loss. Overall, the present registered report confirms that the repeated inhibition of motor responses to food cues, together with the development of attentional biases away from these cues, reduces their perceived value.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Médecine 3ème année
  • English
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Open access status
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