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Attentional Bias for Appetitive Cues: Effects of Fasting in Normal Subjects

  • Edith H. Lavy (a1) and Marcel A. van den Hout (a1)

Abstract

A long series of earlier studies demonstrated that fearful subjects selectively allocate attention to sources of perceived threat. Such attentional bias may not be limited to negative cues. It is hypothesized that attentional bias serves to enhance early identification of action-relevant cues and that such bias also occurs when subjects are confronted with positive valenced cues that evoke an urge to act immediately. In order to determine whether or not the attentional bias effect is limited to unpleasant stimuli, we studied the effects of 24 hours of fasting, focusing our attention on a possible attentional bias for (positively evaluated) food stimuli. The experiment controlled for emotionality effects. It is shown that fasting results in a positive evaluation of food stimuli and an increased desire for these stimuli. The attentional bias effects found were slight and more likely attributable to the increased urge to act than to general emotionality effects. The power of the experimental manipulation and the computerized Stroop task are discussed.

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Attentional Bias for Appetitive Cues: Effects of Fasting in Normal Subjects

  • Edith H. Lavy (a1) and Marcel A. van den Hout (a1)

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Attentional Bias for Appetitive Cues: Effects of Fasting in Normal Subjects

  • Edith H. Lavy (a1) and Marcel A. van den Hout (a1)
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