It's no surprise that how much a person eats determines how full they feel right after a meal. But it's the memory of that meal, and not the meal itself, that matters a couple of hours later. So does this mean you trick yourself into thinness? Probably not. But it does tell us something about the role that manipulating memory may play in calorie intake.
We've known for a while that people who are distracted while eating — such as by watching TV or typing — are not really thinking about what they're eating. They're not making memories of the food, and may be setting themselves up for later hunger. This area of research is helping scientists to better understand "how our memory for food comes to influence the decisions we make and the amount of food we eat," says Jeffrey Brunstrom, an experimental psychologist at the University of Bristol in the U.K.