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Impact of nutrition on social decision making

Strang, S; Hoeber, C; Uhl, O; Koletzko, B; Muente, TF; Lehnert, H; Dolan, RJ; ... Park, SQ; + view all (2017) Impact of nutrition on social decision making. PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , 114 (25) pp. 6510-6514. 10.1073/pnas.1620245114. Green open access

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Abstract

Food intake is essential for maintaining homeostasis, which is necessary for survival in all species. However, food intake also impacts multiple biochemical processes that influence our behavior. Here, we investigate the causal relationship between macronutrient composition, its bodily biochemical impact, and a modulation of human social decision making. Across two studies, we show that breakfasts with different macronutrient compositions modulated human social behavior. Breakfasts with a high-carbohydrate/protein ratio increased social punishment behavior in response to norm violations compared with that in response to a low carbohydrate/protein meal. We show that these macronutrient-induced behavioral changes in social decision making are causally related to a lowering of plasma tyrosine levels. The findings indicate that, in a limited sense, “we are what we eat” and provide a perspective on a nutrition-driven modulation of cognition. The findings have implications for education, economics, and public policy, and emphasize that the importance of a balanced diet may extend beyond the mere physical benefits of adequate nutrition.

Type: Article
Title: Impact of nutrition on social decision making
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620245114
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1620245114
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 National Academy of Sciences. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, nutrition, social decision, tyrosine, decision making, ultimatum game, AMINO-ACIDS, NEUROTRANSMITTER SYNTHESIS, UNCONTROLLABLE STRESS, PLASMA TRYPTOPHAN, ULTIMATUM GAME, GLUCOSE, WILLPOWER, DEPLETION, TYROSINE, MEALS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1564739
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