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Hunger Can Influence Monetary Decision Making


She adds that recent rodent research findings suggest that ghrelin may influence impulsive choices and behaviors.

The study consisted of 84 female participants aged 10 to 22 years – 50 with a low-weight eating disorder and 34 healthy control participants. Participants’ blood levels of total ghrelin were tested before and after a standardized meal.

Participants were asked to complete the delay discounting task (a test of hypothetical financial decisions) for which they had to make a series of decisions indicating their preference for either a smaller immediate monetary reward or a larger delayed amount of money, for example, getting $20 today or $80 in 14 days.

Findings revealed that the likelihood of choosing immediate but smaller monetary awards was higher in healthy young women with higher ghrelin levels. Plessow explains that this preference indicates more impulsive choices.

People with a low-weight eating disorder have ghrelin resistance, so the relationship between ghrelin level and monetary choices was absent for them.

Plessow said their findings also might indicate a disconnect between ghrelin signaling and behavior in this population.

“Our results indicate that ghrelin might play a broader role than previously acknowledged in human reward-related behavior and decision making, such as monetary choices,” Plessow said. “This will hopefully inspire future research into its role in food-independent human perception and behavior.”

Source: Medindia

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