Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 545614
Title Brain Responses to Anticipation and Consumption of Beer with and without Alcohol
Author(s) Smeets, Paul A.M.; Graaf, Cees de
Source Chemical Senses 44 (2019)1. - ISSN 0379-864X - p. 51 - 60.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjy071
Department(s) VLAG
Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour
F&C
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Abstract

Beer is a popular alcoholic beverage worldwide. Nonalcoholic beer (NA-beer) is increasingly marketed. Brain responses to beer and NA-beer have not been compared. It could be that the flavor of beer constitutes a conditioned stimulus associated with alcohol reward. Therefore, we investigated whether oral exposure to NA-beer with or without alcohol elicits similar brain responses in reward-related areas in a context where regular alcoholic beer is expected. Healthy men (n = 21) who were regular beer drinkers were scanned using functional MRI. Participants were exposed to word cues signaling delivery of a 10-mL sip of chilled beer or carbonated water (control) and subsequent sips of NA-beer with or without alcohol or water (control). Beer alcohol content was not signaled. The beer cue elicited less activation than the control cue in the primary visual cortex, supplementary motor area (reward-related region) and bilateral inferior frontal gyrus/frontal operculum. During tasting, there were no significant differences between the 2 beers. Taste activation after swallowing was significantly greater for alcoholic than for NA-beer in the inferior frontal gyrus/anterior insula and dorsal prefrontal cortex (superior frontal gyrus). This appears to be due to sensory stimulation by ethanol rather than reward processing. In conclusion, we found no differences in acute brain reward upon consumption of NA-beer with and without alcohol, when presented in a context where regular alcoholic beer is expected. This suggests that in regular consumers, beer flavor rather than the presence of alcohol is the main driver of the consumption experience.

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