The association of childhood obesity to neuroelectric indices of inhibition

Keita Kamijo, Matthew B. Pontifex, Naiman A. Khan, Lauren B. Raine, Mark R. Scudder, Eric S. Drollette, Ellen M. Evans, Darla M. Castelli, Charles H. Hillman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


To examine whether childhood obesity is associated with inhibitory control, we compared healthy weight and obese preadolescent children's task performance along with the N2 and P3 components during a Go/NoGo task. Results indicated that obese children exhibited lower response accuracy relative to healthy weight children during the NoGo task requiring greater amounts of inhibitory control, whereas no such difference was observed during the Go task. Neuroelectric data indicated that healthy weight children exhibited a more frontal distribution for the NoGo P3 relative to the Go P3, whereas obese children had similar topographic distributions between the Go P3 and NoGo P3. Further, obese children had larger NoGo N2 amplitude relative to the Go N2, whereas this difference was not observed for healthy weight children. These findings suggest that childhood obesity is negatively and selectively associated with prefrontal inhibitory control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1371
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood obesity
  • Go/NoGo
  • Inhibitory control
  • N2
  • P3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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