Eating less or more – Mindset induced changes in neural correlates of pre-meal planning

Maike A. Hege, Ralf Veit, Jan Krumsiek, Stephanie Kullmann, Martin Heni, Peter J. Rogers, Jeffrey M. Brunstrom, Andreas Fritsche, Hubert Preissl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
551 Downloads (Pure)


Obesity develops due to an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. Besides the decision about what to eat, daily energy intake might be even more dependent on the decision about the portion size to be consumed. For decisions between different foods, attentional focus is considered to play a key role in the choice selection. In the current study, we investigated the attentional modulation of portion size selection during pre-meal planning. We designed a functional magnetic resonance task in which healthy participants were directed to adopt different mindsets while selecting their portion size for lunch. Compared with a free choice condition, participants reduced their portion sizes when considering eating for health or pleasure, which was accompanied by increased activity in left prefrontal cortex and left orbitofrontal cortex, respectively. When planning to be full until dinner, participants selected larger portion sizes and showed a trend for increased activity in left insula. These results provide first evidence that also the cognitive process of pre-meal planning is influenced by the attentional focus at the time of choice, which could provide an opportunity for influencing the control of meal size selection by mindset manipulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-501
Number of pages10
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Nutrition and Behaviour
  • Physical and Mental Health


  • Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • fMRI
  • Food
  • Insula
  • Mindset
  • Orbitofrontal cortex


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  • NIHR BRC Nutrition

    Ness, A. R.


    Project: Research, Parent

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