Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

The influence of transcranial direct current stimulation on the perception of food

Control, weight and perception

There is a dramatic increase in overweight and obesity worldwide. Reward sensitivity to food stimuli has proven to be a particularly important mechanism for maintaining overweight: Food has a much more "rewarding" character for overweight people than for people of normal weight, and this positive characteristic in turn stabilises the mood of those affected. In this context, the ability to inhibit (inhibitory control) represents an important competence. With the method of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which has been known for many years, there is hope of changing the activity of the cerebral cortex to bring about a change in the perception of food.

Aim of the study

This study aims to investigate the effect of tDCS on the perception of food stimuli. A total of 148 subjects take part in the study. All participants pass through three measuring points with different tasks.

Course of the study

Before the experiments are conducted, interested parties carry out an online screening (duration: approx. 10-15 minutes). During this screening, it'll be checked wther they are suitable for the study.

If you are suitable for the study, we will contact you to arrange the three screening dates. In addition, we will send you a short online questionnaire (duration: approx. 15-20 minutes).

All three measuring dates (duration: approx. 2 hours each) follow the same principle: You are asked not to eat any more food until the beginning of the measuring date at 11 a.m. Then you will receive a small snack at the beginning of the survey. Afterwards you will complete various memory and thinking tasks while the tDCS is tested in different configurations.


Who can participate?

Men and women who

  • are between 18 and 60 years old
  • have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder
  • currently not participating in other therapies or therapy studies
  • do not smoke
  • are not seriously ill
  • do not eat vegan or sugar-free
  • have no food intolerances
  • have no metallic objects in the area of the head
  • speak German fluently

Data collection for this study has ended.