|dc.description.abstract||Several studies have focused on cognitive processing of food-related stimuli in
response to the rising obesity rates. Previous research has examined the potential
connection between brain responses to pictures of food and body mass index (BMI) using
an electroencephalogram (EEG). Findings from these studies are conflicting and may be
a result of differences in methodologies. The purpose of this study was to clarify and
extend the knowledge about the relationship between BMI, brain activity (specifically,
event-related potentials [ERPs]) elicited by food-related stimuli, and self-report of food
cravings and hunger. The Late Positive Potential (LPP), the ERP of interest, was chosen
as previous studies have supported its use as an index of perception of affective stimuli.
Twenty-eight participants viewed pictures of unhealthy food and office furniture
while their physiological responses were recorded with an EEG. Participants also
responded to several self-report questionnaires and had their height and weight collected
in order to calculate their body mass index (BMI).
Self-report data of food cravings and hunger was not significantly related to BMI.
Analysis of LPP amplitudes of food pictures revealed no predictable relationship with
BMI. Additionally, no significant differences were found for LPP amplitudes between
participants of low and high BMIs. As an extension of previous research, significant
differences were found between LPP amplitudes of food pictures and LPP amplitudes of
office furniture pictures, supporting the idea that the LPP is a measure of affective