If you make a decision on an empty, rumbling stomach then you may regret it, researchers have found.
When you are hungry, the hormone ghrelin is produced in the stomach, which has been shown to have a negative effect on decision-making capabilities and impulse control, the Indian Express reports.
This is the first time that link has been made, one of the researchers Karolina Skibicka from Sahlgrenska Academy, the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
Researchers used rats for the study. They were trained to be rewarded (with sugar) when they executed an action such as pressing a lever (“go”), or instead they were rewarded only when they resisted pressing the lever (“no-go”) when an appropriate signal was given.
They learned this by repeatedly being given a signal, it was reported.
For example, a flash of light or a buzzing sound that tells them which action should be executed for them to receive their reward.
An inability to resist pressing the lever, when the “no-go” signal is given, is a sign of impulsivity, the Indian Express reported from the research.
Researchers found that rats that were given ghrelin directly into the brain; which mimics how the stomach would notify us of a need to eat, were more likely to press the lever instead of waiting, despite it causing them to lose their reward.
Higher levels of ghrelin prevented the rats from being able to wait fo