Description: We combined established emotion regulation (after Wager et al. 2008 Neuron) and dietary choice tasks (after Hare et al. 2009 Science) with fMRI to investigate behavioral and neural associations in self-regulation across the two domains in men and women. We found that increased BOLD activity during the successful reappraisal of positive and negative emotional stimuli was associated with better dietary self-control. This cross-task correlation was present in medial and lateral prefrontal cortex as well as the striatum. These results suggest that neural processes related to the reappraisal of emotional stimuli may also facilitate dietary self-control. However, within the dietary self-control task itself, we did not find that prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity significantly increased with self-control success during our food choice task, in contrast to previous reports. This prompted us to conduct exploratory analyses, which revealed that BOLD activity in PFC tracks the amount of taste and healthiness at stake on each self-control challenge trial. We replicated this finding in an independent dataset. We discuss the implications of this evidence that individuals track the self-control stakes in light of theories about effortful self-regulation. We further discuss features of this version of the food choice task that may have reduced the need to recruit PFC to achieve self-control. In summary, our findings indicate that the neural systems supporting emotion reappraisal can generalize to other behavioral contexts that require reevaluation to conform to the current goal. Keywords: reappraisal, emotion, food choice, dietary self-control, fMRI https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/542712v1Communities: nutritional
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