Posts Tagged ‘neuroscience’

A Loop from Brain Function to Obesity and Back

March 31, 2017 — Brain function can play a role in the development of obesity. And in turn obesity can play a role in brain function. Many knowledge gaps remain, but fascinating insights keep coming. And dopamine – an important neurotransmitter – seems to lie at the heart of changes in the brain linked to obesity. More and more research links dopamine […]

Different Foods Spark Different Parts of Your Brain

February 18, 2017 — It’s a complex puzzle. But your brain definitely responds in very complex ways when you spot some food. Food marketers know this at a practical level. They spend their lives figuring out ways to make you respond to images of their products. Neuroscientists are figuring it out at a more basic level. Functional MRI images […]

Fury from the Sound of Eating? It’s in Your Brain

February 5, 2017 — It often starts at about the age of 12. A particular sound – the sound of eating, chewing popcorn, having soup, breathing – triggers anxiety or anger, perhaps to the point of rage. This is not the mild annoyance that anyone might experience from time to time. It’s a condition called misophonia than can turn a person’s […]

Sluggishness: Maybe It’s the Missing Dopamine

January 3, 2017 — Drug addiction changes human brains. One of those changes is a depletion of dopamine receptors. In obesity, dopamine and its receptors may have a role, but many questions remain. And now, new animal research raises yet another question. Could it be that changes in dopamine receptors make physical activity more difficult in obesity? Danielle Friend […]

Lighting Up the Brain to Make It Behave

August 30, 2016 — Pop neuroscience has an astounding assortment of people offering up observations about lighting up the brain when people see appealing food – or any other stimulus that makes their point. But connecting those dots to some real scientific insight comes a little more slowly. A new publication in Appetite does an excellent job of tying together some […]

Food Addiction: Helpful, Hurtful, or Just Off the Mark?

August 27, 2016 — The popular interest in food addiction is impossible to miss. A search for scholarly articles on the subject yields thousands of references in 2016 alone. A check for news items produces hundreds of thousands. Amazon will serve you more than seven thousand books on the subject. So Nicole Avena and Nina Crowley met with an […]

Retrain the Brain to Treat Obesity?

July 27, 2016 — A body of fascinating research is coming together to suggest that it might be possible to retrain the brain and alter its response to food cues in a way that provides meaningful reductions in obesity. The promise lies with interventions that use insights about brain responses to food and inhibit the brain activity that contributes […]

Brain Activity in Obesity and Obesity Treatment

July 12, 2016 — Two fascinating new studies in the journal Diabetes provide new evidence for the importance of brain activity in obesity and its treatment. The first study documents significant differences in brain response to drinking sugar between adolescents who have obesity and adolescents who have a lean BMI. The second demonstrates how a new obesity treatment – lorcaserin – alters […]

Sugar, Dopamine, and Obesity

June 20, 2016 — New research from Washington University has identified an abnormal dopamine response to sugar in the brains of people with obesity as they age. Lead author of the study, Marta Pepino, explained: We believe we may have identified a new abnormality in the relationship between reward response to food and dopamine in the brains of individuals with […]

Calming the Brain’s Response to Food

April 4, 2016 — Your brain’s response to food is one of the key tools that your body uses to protect you from starving or losing too much weight. Even bad food starts looking really good and thoughts about food crowd out everything else in the brain. In a featured presentation at ENDO 2016, Olivia Farr and colleagues demonstrated that […]