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Previous evidence showed the presence of a straight relationship between feeding behavior and emotions. Despite that, no studies have focused on the influence of emotional faces on food processing. In our study, participants were presented with 72 couples of visual stimuli composed of a neutral, happy, or disgusted faces (5000 ms duration in Experiment 1, adaptation; 150 ms in Experiment 2, priming) followed by a food stimulus (1500 ms). Food stimuli were grouped in pleasant foods, further divided in natural and transformed, and unpleasant rotten foods. The task consisted in judging the food valence (as ‘pleasant’ or ‘unpleasant’) by keypress. Results showed a different pattern of response based on the transformation level of food. In general, the evaluation of natural foods was more rapid compared with transformed foods, maybe for their simplicity and healthier perception. In addition, transformed foods yielded incongruent responses with respect to the preceding emotional face, whereas natural foods yielded congruent responses with respect to it. These effects were independent of the duration of the emotional face (i.e., adaptation or priming paradigm) and may depend on pleasant food stimuli salience.
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- Emotional faces influence evaluation of natural and transformed food
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg