Hungry people are fixated on foodMarch 6th, 2012 - 5:03 am ICT by IANS
Paris, March 6 (IANS) Hungry people seem to be fixated on food, seeing food-related words more clearly than people who have just eaten, says a new research.
Psychologists have known for long that what is going on inside our head affects our senses.
For example, poorer children think coins are larger than they are, and hungry people think pictures of food are brighter.
Remi Radel of the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France, wanted to investigate how this happens — whether it was right away, as the brain receives signals from the eyes, or a little later, as the brain’s higher-level thinking processes get involved, the journal Psychological Science reported.
Radel recruited 42 students with a normal body mass index. On the day of his or her test, each student was told to arrive at the lab at noon after three or four hours of not eating. Then they were told there was a delay, according to a university statement.
Some were told to come back in 10 minutes while others were given an hour to get lunch first. So half the students were hungry when they did the experiment and the other half had just eaten.
For the experiment, the participants looked at a computer screen. One by one, 80 words flashed on the screen for about 1/300th of a second each, at a size that was just at the threshold of what that person could consciously perceive.
Hungry people saw food-related words as brighter and were better at identifying such words.
As the word appeared too quickly for them to be reliably seen, this means that the difference is in perception, Radel said. It was not because of some kind of processing happening in the brain after you have already figured out what you are looking at.
“This is something great to me, that humans can really perceive what they need or what they strive for, to know that our brain can really be at the disposal of our motives and needs,” Radel said.
- Hungry people are fixated on food - Mar 06, 2012
- Oily fish, blueberries, soy protein, vinegar and cinnamon aid memory - Oct 16, 2010
- How eyes move when mind wanders while reading - Aug 31, 2010
- How animals handle fear to obtain food - Nov 30, 2010
- Don't judge a food by its organic label - Apr 11, 2011
- 'People see bold pictures of women as objects' - May 16, 2012
- Businesswoman re-mortgages home for kids' breakfast club - Jun 12, 2011
- Bedside exam unreliable in assessing severe brain injuries: Study - Feb 26, 2011
- Autistic brains 'focus more on visual skills' - Apr 05, 2011
- Scan reveals what brain looks like when you are angry - Jun 19, 2012
- In the works: A food additive to quell hunger - Aug 22, 2012
- Mind-reading machine can convert thoughts into speech - Sep 08, 2010
- Babies understand words in a grown-up way - Jan 08, 2011
- Sheer habit leads to mindless snacking - Sep 02, 2011
- Has human mind reached limit of its intelligence? - Jul 31, 2011
Tags: body mass index, brain, coins, computer screen, lunch, motives, nice sophia antipolis, one 80, paris march, participants, perception, psychological science, radel, research psychologists, senses, signals, sophia antipolis france, threshold