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Appetite. 2011 Apr;56(2):424-7. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.01.019. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

External eating, impulsivity and attentional bias to food cues.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.


Cognitive and behavioural responses to food reward, such as attentional biases and overeating, have been associated with individual differences in reward-responsiveness and impulsivity. This study investigated relationships between external eating, impulsivity and attentional bias to food cues, assessed using the pictorial visual-probe task. As previously reported, attentional bias correlated positively with external eating. Additional novel findings were: (i) attentional bias for food cues was positively related to trait impulsivity, (ii) attentional bias remained related to attention impulsivity after controlling for external eating. Our findings highlight the relationship between the ability to control impulsive responding and selective attention to food cues.

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