NWO Project

Satisfaction: Elucidating the Neurocognitive Mechanisms Controlling Satiation

Total Budget: € 1,352,000
Consortium: 6 partners
Countries: 4
Duration: 1 Jan 2015 – 31 Dec 2018
Website: www.satiation.org

This project is mainly funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NOW) and Wrigley.


It has been shown repeatedly that foods which can be consumed quickly are linked to over-consumption of energy. Over-consumption is associated with both a lack of chewing (mastication) and/or a lack of oro-sensory (taste) signalling, which weakens the cephalic phase responses and ensuing neural and hormonal responses determining meal termination. People often eat while they are engaged in other activities such as watching television, driving or walking. This type of mindless or distracted eating has been shown to be causally related to over-consumption of food and leads to disturbances in the normal processes of satiation. Neurological mechanisms underlying the effects of distraction and attention on satiation (meal termination) processes are not well understood.


The aim of this project is to investigate the mechanisms linking oro-sensory exposure, mastication and attention to satiation and to relate these lab measures to daily eating behaviour. Gaining such an understanding may ultimately lead to the development of products or strategies that enhance healthy choices and eating behaviour. It is likely that mindless eating is often accompanied by quick eating. Indeed, oro-sensory exposure and neural and hormonal satiation responses might be disrupted during both mindless and quick eating. The relative importance of these factors will be determined in a multivariate model predicting satiation in the lab and at home (measurement of daily eating behaviour by collecting data via an application on subjects’ mobile devices). The integration of lab-based and reality-based data will provide a better understanding of eating behaviour as embedded in the complex environment that represents our daily lives.

Expected Impact

Understanding eating behaviour at the level of mechanisms linking mastication and attention to satiation enables activities that could directly reduce the prevalence of unhealthy eating habits including overeating. The results can be applied by both the food industry and public health practitioners to benefit the health and wellbeing of the individual as well as the sustainability and health of society.

Role of ILSI Europe

ILSI Europe, together with Mars (Wrigley) and Cerebrus Associates, is in charge of disseminating the knowledge delivered by the project so that it can be beneficial to society at large, by circulating flyers, brochures, and communication via a website.

For more detailed information, please contact Dr Lucie Geurts at lgeurts@lsieurope.be.