The neural correlates of delay discounting in obesity and binge eating disorder

Romina Miranda-Olivos, Trevor Steward, Ignacio Martínez-Zalacaín, Gemma Mestre-Bach, Asier Juaneda-Seguí, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, José A Fernández-Formoso, Nuria Vilarrasa, Misericordia Veciana de Las Heras, Nuria Custal, Nuria Virgili, Rafael Lopez-Urdiales, José M Menchón, Roser Granero, Carles Soriano-Mas, Fernando Fernandez-Aranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Increased delay discounting is associated with obesity and binge eating disorder (BED). Although BED and obesity frequently co-occur, the neural mechanisms underlying delay discounting in these conditions remain poorly understood.

METHODS: Thirtyfive women with obesity, including 10 participants with obesity and BED and 31 controls completed a monetary delay discounting task during functional magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULTS: We identified that increased discounting rates were associated with decreased activity in the left anterior insula in participants with obesity compared to controls when choosing immediate rewards over delayed rewards (PFWE < 0.05). An exploratory analysis comparing the BED subsample to the other groups did not detect significant differences.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest decreased activity in the anterior insula may underlie heightened delay discounting in individuals with obesity, contributing the probability of choosing immediate rewards over delayed rewards based on emotional states. Future studies including larger, more diverse samples are required to confirm these effects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Apr 2021


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