The Food Project
This research examines EEG changes in the left frontal region in response to a verbal fluency task as well as a motor task. Further, changes in performance on these tasks are examined as a function of exposure to digestive stress in diabetic and non-diabetic men and women. While there is well-documented evidence suggesting that increased neurophysiological arousal is related to heightened levels of hostility after exposure to stress, changes in arousal as a function of a left-lateralized stressor (ingestion, absorption, and pre-digestion of food) and diabetes classification has not been examined.
The current experiment builds on existing knowledge by examining changes in verbal fluency, motor speed, and magnitude of cerebral activation as a function of diabetes classification. Preliminary research with younger non-diabetic men and women (ages 18-26) has shown a decrease in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) after exposure to digestive stress. Moreover, an increase in perseverative errors on the second administration of the word task was found. These preliminary findings indicate the ingestion, absorption, and pre-digestion of food may be associated with changes in word and motor task performance as well as regulatory control over parasympathetic tone.