Differential neural reward reactivity in response to food advertising medium in children

Dabin Yeum, Courtney A. Jimenez, Jennifer A. Emond, Meghan L. Meyer, Reina K. Lansigan, Delaina D. Carlson, Grace A. Ballarino, Diane Gilbert-Diamond, Travis D. Masterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Food cues including food advertisements (ads) activate brain regions related to motivation and reward. These responses are known to correlate with eating behaviors and future weight gain. The objective of this study was to compare brain responses to food ads by different types of ad mediums, dynamic (video) and static (images), to better understand how medium type impacts food cue response. Methods: Children aged 9–12 years old were recruited to complete a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm that included both food and non-food dynamic and static ads. Anatomical and functional images were preprocessed using the fMRIPrep pipeline. A whole-brain analysis and a targeted region-of-interest (ROI) analysis for reward regions (nucleus accumbens, orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, hypothalamus, ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra) were conducted. Individual neural responses to dynamic and static conditions were compared using a paired t-test. Linear mixed-effects models were then constructed to test the differential response by ad condition after controlling for age, sex, BMI-z, physical activity, and % of kcal consumed of a participant’s estimated energy expenditure in the pre-load prior to the MRI scan. Results: A total of 115 children (mean=10.9 years) completed the fMRI paradigm. From the ROI analyses, the right and left hemispheres of the amygdala and insula, and the right hemisphere of the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra showed significantly higher responses for the dynamic food ad medium after controlling for covariates and a false discovery rate correction. From the whole-brain analysis, 21 clusters showed significant differential responses between food ad medium including the precuneus, middle temporal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, and inferior frontal gyrus, and all regions remained significant after controlling for covariates. Discussion: Advertising medium has unique effects on neural response to food cues. Further research is needed to understand how this differential activation by ad medium ultimately affects eating behaviors and weight outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1052384
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential neural reward reactivity in response to food advertising medium in children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this