AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Imaging the Effects of Hunger on the Brain's Response to Food Cues

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Our brain pays more attention to food when we are hungry than when we are sated. Now a team of scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has shed light on how the needs of the body affect the way the brain processes visual food cues. In two newly-published studies, the researchers examined – with unprecedented resolution – the brain circuits responsible for the differences in the way the brain responds to visual food cues during hunger versus satiety. “Our goal is to understand how specific brain circuits bias attention to food cues, as these biases are powerful drivers of food consumption,” said corresponding author Mark L. Andermann, PhD, of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at BIDMC and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Ideally, specific cell types within these circuits could be targeted in order to shift attention away from unhealthy cues such as high-calorie food cues.” To read more, click here.

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