Submitted to: Society of Psychophysiological Research
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2004
Publication Date: 10/14/2004
Citation: Pivik, R.T., Dykman, R.A. 2004. The effects of eating breakfast on the contingent negative variation response in preadolescents: gender correlates. Society of Psychophysiological Research. 41(S1). Paper No. 26. Interpretive Summary: The Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) is a brain response that develops in the time between a warning stimulus and a following stimulus requiring a response. The CNV is thought to reflect processes related to attending to the first stimulus and preparing for responding to the second stimulus. Whether this response differs in male and female preadolescents, and how this response is influenced by nutritional status in these children have not been studied. In this study the CNV response was measured in preadolescents performing an attentional task first after overnight fasting and again while continuing to fast or after eating a standardized breakfast. The results indicate a greater CNV response in children who skipped, compared with those who ate, breakfast, and the largest responses were present in fasting females. These differences were not accompanied by differences in performance (reaction time or accuracy) between the study conditions or genders. The results indicate attentional and motor preparatory processes related to the CNV response are sensitive to nutritional status, and that this is most evident in fasting females.
Technical Abstract: Gender and nutritional status affect information processing, but their influence on the Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) has not been reported. We examined sex correlates of eating or skipping breakfast on the CNV to priming stimuli (F3, F4, C3, C4 at 850-1250, 1250-1650, and 1650-2200 ms intervals) and performance [accuracy; reaction time (RT)] during a cued go/no-go (CPT) task. Healthy children (8-11 yrs.; IQ > 80) were tested after overnight fasting and after a standardized breakfast (n = 41;18 males) or while continuing to fast (n = 40;18 males). Sleep (overnight actigraphy) and blood glucose (finger sticks) were monitored. Data were analyzed using ANOVA procedures with post-hoc t-tests. Groups (and gender subgroups): 1) were similar in sleep amount and blood glucose levels increased in fed participants (p<.01); and, 2) did not differ significantly in performance within or across test periods [females RT > males; RT slowed (both sexes) across test periods; accuracy changed only slightly]. Relative to initial (fasting) responses, negativity increased with continued fasting (frontal, central; p<.05, all intervals; fed group changes ns). Fasting females showed greater negativity than fasting males [all leads, intervals; frontal (middle); central (early, middle); all p<.03] or fed females (F4, C4--all intervals, p<.03). The results indicate that eating breakfast attenuates, and skipping breakfast enhances, CNV responses in preadolescents.