Dissection of Appetitive Conditioning: Does Impulsivity Play a Role?

Dissection of appetitive conditioning: Does impulsivity play a role?

Appetite. 2013 May 22;
Papachristou H, Nederkoorn C, Beunen S, Jansen A

RATIONALE: It is generally assumed that cue-reactivity results from appetitive pavlovian learning. This is the reason for applying cue exposure with response prevention interventions in the treatment of substance and eating disorders. However, not all appetitive conditioned responses are equally sensitive to extinction. Additionally, impulsivity traits appear to moderate cue-reactivity. Nevertheless, there has been little research on the role of impulsivity traits in the learning of different appetitive response systems. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present study was i) to replicate Van Gucht et al.’s (2010) findings, in particular, the acquisition and the differential extinction of appetitive learned responses and ii) to investigate the role of impulsivity traits in appetitive learning. METHODS: Participants (n = 50) took part in a single laboratory session. Impulsivity traits (reward sensitivity, response inhibition, sensation seeking) were measured at the beginning of the session. A paradigm similar to Van Gucht et al.’s (2010) was used for the acquisition and extinction of subjective conditioned responses for milk chocolate (craving, expectancy, and liking). RESULTS: The acquisition of appetitive responses was successful. Unlike craving and liking, the extinction of expectancy was fully successful. Impulsivity traits played no role in the acquisition and extinction of appetitive conditioning. CONCLUSIONS: The results support the differential sensitivity of different appetitive response systems to extinction. The lack of findings for the role of impulsivity traits in appetitive learning shows that the question of how impulsivity affects appetitive behaviour still remains open. Theoretical and methodological issues and clinical implications of the findings are discussed. HubMed – eating


The Moderating Role of Regulatory Focus on the Social Modeling of Food Intake.

Appetite. 2013 May 22;
Florack A, Palcu J, Friese M

Regulatory focus theory proposes two distinct modi of self-regulation, a promotion focus and a prevention focus. According to this theory, individuals in a prevention focus apply behavioral strategies to successfully avoid unpleasant outcomes and maintain a safe and secure state. By contrast, individuals in a promotion focus apply behavioral strategies to realize pleasant outcomes and to advance the current state. Applied to the context of eating behavior, regulatory focus theory suggests that individuals in a prevention focus should be especially sensitive to avoid socially inappropriate eating behavior. A way to ensure socially appropriate eating behavior is to follow social models. In the present research, we therefore tested the assumption that a prevention focus leads to stronger modeling effects in eating behavior than a promotion focus. In two studies, we manipulated individual’s self-regulation states by putting individuals in a state of reflection about their hopes and aspirations (promotion focus) vs. a state of reflection about their duties and responsibilities (prevention focus). Participants then observed the consumption behavior of a second participant who either consumed or did not consume offered food (Study 1) or received incidental information about the amount of food an ostensible previous participant had consumed (Study 2). Across both studies, participants in a prevention focus matched their food consumption more closely to that of a present (Study 1) and not-present social model (Study 2), compared to participants in a promotion focus. The results advance our understanding of modeling effects in food intake by showing the importance of regulatory orientations. HubMed – eating