Modification of EEG functional connectivity and EEG power spectra in overweight and obese patients with food addiction: An eLORETA study (2015)

Brain Imaging and Behavior

December 2015, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 703–716

  • Claudio Imperatori Email author
  • Mariantonietta Fabbricatore
  • Marco Innamorati
  • Benedetto Farina
  • Maria Isabella Quintiliani
  • Dorian A. Lamis
  • Edoardo Mazzucchi
  • Anna Contardi
  • Catello Vollono
  • Giacomo Della Marca

DOI: 10.1007/s11682-014-9324-x

Cite this article as:

Imperatori, C., Fabbricatore, M., Innamorati, M. et al. Brain Imaging and Behavior (2015) 9: 703. doi:10.1007/s11682-014-9324-x


We evaluated the modifications of electroencephalographic (EEG) power spectra and EEG connectivity in overweight and obese patients with elevated food addiction (FA) symptoms. Fourteen overweight and obese patients (3 men and 11 women) with three or more FA symptoms and fourteen overweight and obese patients (3 men and 11 women) with two or less FA symptoms were included in the study. EEG was recorded during three different conditions: 1) five minutes resting state (RS), 2) five minutes resting state after a single taste of a chocolate milkshake (ML-RS), and 3) five minutes resting state after a single taste of control neutral solution (N-RS). EEG analyses were conducted by means of the exact Low Resolution Electric Tomography software (eLORETA). Significant modification was observed only in the ML-RS condition. Compared to controls, patients with three or more FA symptoms showed an increase of delta power in the right middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann Area [BA] 8) and in the right precentral gyrus (BA 9), and theta power in the right insula (BA 13) and in the right inferior frontal gyrus (BA 47). Furthermore, compared to controls, patients with three or more FA symptoms showed an increase of functional connectivity in fronto-parietal areas in both the theta and alpha band. The increase of functional connectivity was also positively associated with the number of FA symptoms. Taken together, our results show that FA has similar neurophysiological correlates of other forms of substance-related and addictive disorders suggesting similar psychopathological mechanisms.


Food addictionObesityOverweightFunctional connectivityEEG power spectraeLORETA


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