Posts Tagged ‘neuroscience’

Zeroing In on Receptors That Cause Obesity

August 22, 2017 — Among the complex web of factors that are causing obesity to rise, you will find the rise of drugs that cause weight gain. New antipsychotic drugs – like olanzapine or Zyprexa – are classic examples. They offer important benefits for people living with schizophrenia or bipolar disease. But they have a downside. They can cause obesity and metabolic […]

Does Obesity Mess with Your Brain’s Reward Center?

August 14, 2017 — For several years now, neuroscientists have been looking for connections between obesity and how our brains process rewards. Dopamine receptors play a role in the reward you feel when you eat especially tasty foods. And prior research suggests people with obesity have fewer dopamine receptors. Now new research in Obesity shows that young adults with […]

The Problem with Cookies and Meth

July 2, 2017 — In the New York Times Friday, psychiatrist Richard Friedman tells us that cookies and meth have a great deal in common. He’s taking up a popular, simple explanation for obesity: Contemporary humans did not experience a sudden collapse in self-control. What happened is that cheap, calorie-dense foods that are highly rewarding to your brain are […]

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 […]