You are what you eat: personality and brain responses to food
Vending machines at every street corner, birthday cakes at work, and creamy Frappuccino’s on-the-go. We are constantly tempted by tasty energy-rich foods everywhere we go. Yet, many of us still manage to avoid gaining weight. Why is it that our waistlines respond in different ways to this ‘obesogenic’ environment? Since all eating decisions are made between our ears, it seems likely that not everyone’s brain responds the same way to food. We recently reviewed how personality relates to the way your brain responds to food? At a party, is it usually you who makes a splash, or is it the other people around you? The extrovert-introvert spectrum is probably the easiest personality characteristic to spot in a person. Whereas extraverts are outgoing and talkative, introverts are more reserved and prefer solitary activities. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this apparent talkative and energetic extrovert personality type: they are more likely to be overweight. Scientists have long known that the brains of extraverts and introverts differ. For example, extraverts have a preference for immediate rewards and they behave more impulsively. Surprisingly, our review did not find evidence supporting the idea that the brains of extroverts (versus introverts) respond differently to foods.
Image: Nynke van der Laan