State of the Science of Diet and Mental Energy
Presented by the ILSI North America Technical Committee on Energy
In collaboration with the American Society for Nutrition
at Experimental Biology 2010
24 April 2010
For full program details click here.
Co- Chairs: Frances H. Seligson, PhD, RD, Chair, ILSI North America Technical Committee on Energy and Nutrition Consultant
John A. Milner, PhD, Chief, Nutritional Science Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
Evidence that foods, or their components, offer benefits beyond basic nutrition continues to intrigue and captivate the scientific and health care communities, as well as the general public. As part of this program, attention will be given to unraveling the concept of “mental energy,” i.e., the ability to perform mental tasks, the intensity of feeling energy/fatigue, and the motivation to accomplish mental and physical tasks. This symposium will focus on the current scientific understanding of reported effects of meals, foods, and food components on mental energy and the relative sensitivity of the tools to measure and substantiate those effects.
The program will begin with an introduction of the scientific questions involved with mental energy research and an overview of a conceptual model of mental energy. The results of the comprehensive literature search will be presented, including areas of consensus and emerging science. Subsequent speakers will provide fundamental insight into the characterization of the most important site of action of bioactive food components (including caffeine and carbohydrates) on neurocognitive pathways and identify research gaps in our knowledge of this topic. These presentations will help the participants increase their understanding of “mental energy” as an important construct for eating behavior and provide further knowledge about the physiological response to food and food components. Finally, a concluding panel discussion aims to identify applications of this work and future research directions.
Defining mental energy: Models, methods, and challenges for the nutritional sciences community Patrick J. O’Connor, Professor of Kinesiology, Exercise Psychology Laboratory Co-Director, University of Georgia, Athens, USA
Caffeine’s effects on cognitive performance, neural mechanisms, and metabolism
Harris Lieberman, PhD, Research Psychologist, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, Massachusetts, USA
Glucose and carbohydrate impacts mood and cognition in adults and children
David Benton, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Swansea, Swansea, Wales
Neurocognitive pathways and mechanisms involved in effects of herbal supplements, glucose, and other dietary factors
David O. Kennedy, PhD, Director, Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre, Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Comprehensive evaluation of the state of the science on dietary factors and their effects on cognition and mood: Established effects and emerging science
Amy Brownawell, PhD, Life Sciences Research Office, Inc. Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Concluding Panel Discussion
How do we bridge the gap between behavioral and biological sciences in this field? Can we recommend standardized methods for measuring effects of dietary components on mental energy? What are the research gaps that need to be addressed?