Role of brain dopamine in food reward and reinforcement.

Intramural Research Program, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences (Impact Factor: 6.31). 08/2006; 361(1471):1149-58. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2006.1854
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The ability of food to establish and maintain response habits and conditioned preferences depends largely on the function of brain dopamine systems. While dopaminergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens appears sufficient for some forms of reward, the role of dopamine in food reward does not appear to be restricted to this region. Dopamine plays an important role in both the ability to energize feeding and to reinforce food-seeking behaviour; the role in energizing feeding is secondary to the prerequisite role in reinforcement. Dopaminergic activation is triggered by the auditory and visual as well as the tactile, olfactory, and gustatory stimuli of foods. While dopamine plays a central role in the feeding and food-seeking of normal animals, some food rewarded learning can be seen in genetically engineered dopamine-deficient mice.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The central actions of leptin and insulin are essential for the regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis. In addition to the crucial effects on the hypothalamus, emerging evidence suggests that the leptin and insulin signaling can act on other brain regions to mediate the reward value of nutrients. Recent studies have indicated the midbrain dopaminergic neurons as a potential site for leptin' and insulin's actions on mediating the feeding behaviors and therefore affecting the energy balance. Although molecular details about the integrative roles of leptin and insulin in this subset of neurons remain to be investigated, substantial body of evidence by far imply that the signaling pathways regulated by leptin and insulin may play an essential role in the regulation of energy balance through the control of food-associated reward. This review therefore describes the convergence of energy regulation and reward system, particularly focusing on leptin and insulin signaling in the midbrain dopaminergic neurons.
    Frontiers in Psychology 08/2014; 5:846. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00846 · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the importance of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) in cocaine addiction is well established, its precise contribution to cocaine seeking, taking and relapse remains incompletely understood. In particular, across two different models of cocaine self-administration, pharmacological or optogenetic activation of the dorsal MPFC has been reported to sometimes promote and sometimes inhibit cocaine seeking. We highlight important methodological differences between the two experimental paradigms and propose a framework to potentially reconcile the apparent discrepancy. We also draw parallels between these pre-clinical models of cocaine self-administration and human neuro-imaging studies in cocaine users, and argue that both lines of evidence point to dynamic interactions between cue-reactivity processes and control processes within the dorsal MPFC circuitry. From a translational perspective, these findings underscore the importance of interventions and therapeutics targeting not just a brain region, but a specific computational process within that brain region, and may have implications for the design and implementation of more effective treatments for human cocaine addiction.
    Addiction Biology 03/2014; 20(2). DOI:10.1111/adb.12132 · 5.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore how obese women with and without binge eating disorder (BED) experience overeating in relation to the DSM-5 symptoms of addiction. Findings from this study demonstrate that food addiction can occur in obese individuals with and without BED. It is important that health care professionals identify individuals who may require a specific treatment approach that incorporates techniques used in the treatment of addictions.
    Eating disorders 01/2014; 22(1):19-32. DOI:10.1080/10640266.2014.857515


Available from