HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Brain links non-food images with eating -- But only when hungry, study suggests

There's a little of Pavlov's dog in all of us, according to new research. Instead of using meat and a ringing bell, scientists have trained humans to hunger for vanilla ice cream, at the sight of an abstract computer image.

Not only do we mentally connect the enjoyment of certain foods with unrelated stimuli, our brains can also relax these connections once we're full of that food, the researchers discovered. They report their findings in the journal Science, published by AAAS, the science society.

If that mental relaxing process doesn't happen properly, it might leave us with the urge to eat even once we're full. An inability to disconnect the anticipation of food from various sights, sounds, or other stimuli may play a role in compulsive eating, according to author Jay Gottfried of the Institute of Neurology in London.

The brain's connection-making tendencies, or "conditioning," may extend to other substances that also trigger the brain's reward circuitry, Gottfried said. The ease with which we seem to associate pleasure-giving substances with other items supports the idea that one reason it's so hard for addicts to stay clean is that the smallest signs can bring back the cravings for drugs or alcohol.

The ability to make connections between eating and various stimuli in one's environment is a fundamental part of learning that is probably common, to some degree, in all animals.

"Say a rabbit is hopping around its little grassy patch and he's learned how to find clover," Gottfried explained. "So, if he sees a particular tree stump, or rocky slope, that predicts clover."

As if nature knew we wouldn't just stop eating when we were full, it also evolved a "brake system" for the conditioning process. Gottfried and his colleagues discovered that the brain tones down certain associations, once a person is full of the desired substance.

Such a system spares the rabbit, for example, from spending all its wa
'"/>

Contact: Christina Smith
ccsmith@aaas.org
202-326-7088
American Association for the Advancement of Science
21-Aug-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Brain has center for detecting sound motion
2. Brains reward circuitry revealed in procrastinating primates
3. Brain serotonin enzyme finding might explain psychiatric disorders
4. Brain development and puberty may be key factors in learning disorders
5. Organization for Human Brain Mapping 2004 Annual Meeting
6. Brain disease research, particle physics meet in the middle (ware)
7. Brain control
8. Brain cells become more discriminating when they work together
9. Brain signal predicts working memory prowess
10. Brain areas identified that decode emotions of others
11. Brain Centre gives Wales a world lead

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/14/2017)... (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups ... collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built with ... France is one of the ... percent increase in the number of startups created between 2012 ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and interpret datasets, ... Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of the double-helix ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most ... you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and ... unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading ... a nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will ... need for communication among health care professionals to enhance the ... nurses, office staff, and other health care professionals to help ... breast cancer. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) ... and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: