Skip to main content
How impulsiveness influences obesity: the mediating effect by resting-state brain activity of dlPFC
Hui Zheng, Zi-Qi Liu, Ti-Fei Yuan
Presenting author:
Hui Zheng
An impulsive personality trait is a stable personality trait that contributes or interacts with obesity. In particular, obesity is caused by unrestrained impulse eating that is not consciously controlled, leading to hormonal imbalances that impair impulse control. This relationship is not fully understood. A total of 35 obese individuals (body mass index, BMI > 28) were recruited and matched with 31 healthy controls (BMI * 24) in terms of age and educational level. Participants completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 and a resting-state fMRI. Results showed that patients with obesity had significantly lower fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and higher fALFF in the left fusiform cortex. A positive relationship was also found between non-planning impulsiveness and BMI. Furthermore, we found that the right dlPFC completely mediated the relationship between non-planning impulsiveness and BMI. In our study, impulsivity is statistically more likely to precede obesity than obesity to precede impulsivity, and contributes to obesity by downregulating spontaneous activity in the dlPFC. Thus, the dlPFC, which is associated with executive control, may be an ideal target for treating obesity.