Neurophysiological Variations in Food Decision-Making within Virtual and Real Environments

Charissa S.L. Cheah, Stephen P. Kaputsos, Varun Mandalapu, Truc Tran, Salih Barman, Sarah E. Jung, Kathy T.T. Vu, Travis D. Masterson, Ryan Zuber, Lee Boot, Jiaqi Gong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Simple lifestyle changes such as improving one's diet and getting sufficient exercise could significantly reduce the risk of developing obesity and related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. However, changing eating behavior is challenging because eating is a part of the human behavior system. This paper introduces a pilot study that examined the multifactorial neurophysiological correlates of food decision-making behavior, with potential implications for the development of effective treatments for individuals with dysfunctional eating. The experimental protocol was designed in a virtual reality (VR) and real-life (RL) buffet setting. Eleven participants (aged 18-25 years; Mean = 20.45, SD = 2.30) were recruited and equipped with various body sensors (e.g., prefrontal cortex functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), electrocardiography (ECG), galvanic skin response (GSR), eye movement and body motion) to capture their neurological and physiological data as they were making food selections. In this exploratory study, we aimed to identify patterns of neural and physiological activity during food selection and associations with the nutritional content of individuals' final food selection in VR and RL buffets. Findings revealed that the left inferior frontal gyrus demonstrated significant differential activation when subjects chose high compared to low density food in both settings. These findings suggest that VR simulations may provide similar neural response to real world environments, particularly in control regions of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, BHI 2019 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728108483
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019
Event2019 IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, BHI 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: May 19 2019May 22 2019

Publication series

Name2019 IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, BHI 2019 - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2019 IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, BHI 2019
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period5/19/195/22/19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neurophysiological Variations in Food Decision-Making within Virtual and Real Environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this