AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 28, Number 1, 2019

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Scientists Find Brain Signal That Might Help Us Judge the Holiday Buffet

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At holiday buffets and potlucks, people make quick calculations about which dishes to try and how much to take of each. Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists have found a brain region that appears to be strongly connected to such food preference decisions.

Researchers, working with rats, found robust neural activity related to food choice in a previously overlooked part of the brain. The finding suggests this brain area could be key to developing therapies and treatments to encourage healthy eating.

“We found a region in the brain that reflects our perception of food in a strikingly dominant way,” said lead author David Ottenheimer, a Johns Hopkins University graduate student studying neuroscience. “The level of brain activity we saw exceeded our expectations by far.”

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