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Faculty Sponsor

Ethan McMahan

Abstract

Although the human brain only represents about two percent of the body's total weight, it uses 20 percent of the total calories consumed each day. Calories are vital for proper cognitive function and development. Previous research has reported a wide array of cognitive deficits associated with malnutrition in early childhood and delayed development in children whose mother consumed inadequate nutrition during pregnancy. Previous research has also reported a wide array of cognitive deficits associated with calorie restriction, as well as demonstrated increased cognitive performance after the administration of nutrients. Lastly, research is beginning to more thoroughly examine the relationship of preoccupying cognitions surrounding body image and cognitive deficits to better understand this component of thought and its effect on cognitive performance. In the current analysis, it is suggested that the association between nutrition and cognition is multifaceted, with both physiological and psychological components implicated.

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