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Psychophysiology. 1997 Jan;34(1):59-64.

Allocation of attentional resources during habituation to food cues.

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Department of Psychology, State University of New York, Buffalo 14260, USA.


Two experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that habituation to repeated food cues can be inhibited by allocating processing resources to nonfood cues. In two experiments, the salivary response to 10 presentations of lemon yogurt was assessed while subjects engaged in a controlled cognitive search task (demanding attentional resources), an automatic search task (needing fewer attentional resources), or no task. In Experiment 1, the controlled and automatic search tasks differed in the number of memory set items. In Experiment 2, the size of the memory sets was held constant, and individuals were provided practice to stabilize the different search strategies in the task. The automatic search and no task groups habituated to the repeated presentation of food cues in both experiments, but the controlled search group did not. These results support the hypothesis that allocation of attentional resources to external cues can influence the processing of food cues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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