“Exposure to Appetitive Food Stimuli Markedly Activates the Human Brain.”

Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 05/2004; 21(4):1790-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.11.026
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The increased incidence of obesity most likely reflects changes in the environment that had made food more available and palatable. Here we assess the response of the human brain to the presentation of appetitive food stimuli during food presentation using PET and FDG.
Metabolic changes in response to food presentation were done in 12 healthy normal body weight subjects who were food deprived before the study.
Food presentation significantly increased metabolism in the whole brain (24%, P < 0.01) and these changes were largest in superior temporal, anterior insula, and orbitofrontal cortices. The increases in the right orbitofrontal cortex were the ones that correlated significantly with the increases in self-reports of hunger and desire for food.
The marked increase in brain metabolism by the presentation of food provides evidence of the high sensitivity of the human brain to food stimuli. This high sensitivity coupled with the ubiquitousness of food stimuli in the environment is likely to contribute to the epidemic of obesity. In particular, the activation of the right orbitofrontal cortex, a brain region involved with drive, may underlie the motivation to procure food, which may be subjectively experienced as "desire for food" and "hunger" when exposed to food stimuli.

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Available from: Allan Geliebter, Dec 30, 2013
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    • "Un altro esempio di come le capacità inibitorie possano agire sul sistema di ricompensa proviene da uno studio di neuroimmagine (Wang et al., 2004) in cui ai partecipanti veniva chiesto di astenersi dal mangiare per 17-19 ore. Mentre la loro attività cerebrale veniva registrata mediante la tomografia ad emissione di positroni (PET), ai partecipanti venivano presentati i loro cibi preferiti sia mediante l'olfatto che il gusto. "
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    • "Advantages of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission topography (PET) paradigms have been used to provide insights of neural correlates in food addiction and obesity (Wang et al., 2004a; Teegarden and Bale, 2007; Volkow et al., 2012). Interestingly, following various types of food presentation to normal healthy patients, activated brain regions of anterior cingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and insula are observed (Wang et al., 2004a; Teegarden and Bale, 2007). In contrast to obese overeating patients, neurobiological changes in the reward pathways are similar to those observed in drug addicts (Volkow et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Food is a potent natural reward and food intake is a complex process. Reward and gratification associated with food consumption leads to dopamine (DA) production, which in turn activates reward and pleasure centers in the brain. An individual will repeatedly eat a particular food to experience this positive feeling of gratification. This type of repetitive behavior of food intake leads to the activation of brain reward pathways that eventually overrides other signals of satiety and hunger. Thus, a gratification habit through a favorable food leads to overeating and morbid obesity. Overeating and obesity stems from many biological factors engaging both central and peripheral systems in a bi-directional manner involving mood and emotions. Emotional eating and altered mood can also lead to altered food choice and intake leading to overeating and obesity. Research findings from human and animal studies support a two-way link between three concepts, mood, food, and obesity. The focus of this article is to provide an overview of complex nature of food intake where various biological factors link mood, food intake, and brain signaling that engages both peripheral and central nervous system signaling pathways in a bi-directional manner in obesity.
    Frontiers in Psychology 09/2014; 5:925. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00925 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "Food- and food-cue exposure trigger so-called cephalic phase responses that prepare the organism for the consumption of food and are associated with an increase in craving for those foods (Nederkoorn et al., 2000; Legenbauer et al., 2004; Rodríguez et al., 2005). Likewise, neuroimaging studies have shown that presentation of visual food-cues markedly activate the human brain, particularly subcortical areas associated with reward and incentive salience (Wang et al., 2004; Kenny, 2011; Carnell et al., 2012; García-García et al., 2013). Accumulating evidence suggests that those food-cue induced subcortical activations can be downregulated by the use of cognitive strategies, probably through increased inhibitory signals from prefrontal cortices (Wang et al., 2009; Kober et al., 2010b; Hollmann et al., 2012; Scharmüller et al., 2012; Siep et al., 2012; Yokum and Stice, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: In our current obesogenic environment, exposure to visual food-cues can easily lead to craving and overeating because short-term, pleasurable effects of food intake dominate over the anticipated long-term adverse effects such as weight gain and associated health problems. Here we contrasted these two conditions during food-cue presentation while acquiring event-related potentials (ERPs) and subjective craving ratings. Female participants (n = 25) were presented with either high-calorie (HC) or low-calorie (LC) food images under instructions to imagine either immediate (NOW) or long-term effects (LATER) of consumption. On subjective ratings for HC foods, the LATER perspective reduced cravings as compared to the NOW perspective. For LC foods, by contrast, craving increased under the LATER perspective. Early ERPs (occipital N1, 150-200 ms) were sensitive to food type but not to perspective. Late ERPs (late positive potential, LPP, 350-550 ms) were larger in the HC-LATER condition than in all other conditions, possibly indicating that a cognitive focus on negative long-term consequences induced negative arousal. This enhancement for HC-LATER attenuated to the level of the LC conditions during the later slow wave (550-3000 ms), but amplitude in the HC-NOW condition was larger than in all other conditions, possibly due to a delayed appetitive response. Across all conditions, LPP amplitudes were positively correlated with self-reported emotional eating. In sum, results reveal that regulation effects are secondary to an early attentional analysis of food type and dynamically evolve over time. Adopting a long-term perspective on eating might promote a healthier food choice across a range of food types.
    Frontiers in Psychology 09/2013; 4:669. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00669 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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