Diet, behaviour and cognitive functions: a psychobiological view
AbstractThere is a rapidly growing interest in the scientific study of the effects of foods on psychological processes involved in the control of behaviour (performance) and cognitive functions such as memory, perception, attention and vigilance. This study forms part of innovative research on functional foods, which provides an active arena for collaboration between researchers in universities, institutes and industry. Research outputs will inform legislation currently being drawn up in Europe. This article describes some basic issues of functional food research exemplified by evidence on the effects of carbohydrate foods. These effects implicate glucose metabolism in some aspects of human memory and performance. One specific issue concerns the problem of daytime lethargy and the ‘‘post-lunch dip’’. An exciting prospect for this type of work is the potential to develop foods to maintain or improve performance in the working environment and to enhance quality of l ife. Keywords: blood glucose; memory; post-lunch dip; cognitive performance; carbohydrates
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