Sumary of Brain region tracking food preferences could steer our food choices:
- Researchers discovered that a specific brain region monitors food preferences as they change across thirsty and quenched states..
- By targeting neurons in that part of the brain, they were able to shift food choice preferences from a more desired reward (think:.
- Their findings, published in the journal Science Advances, built upon the same team’s discovery two years ago that neural activity in this brain region called the ventral pallidum is related to the preference for different food options..
- Working with rats, the researchers were able to demonstrate that this same area of the brain is tracking and updating food preferences in ways that shifted as physiological states progressed from extremely thirsty to happily quenched..
- “Your brain has to weigh different possible outcomes or options in order to make good decisions that are necessary for survival,”.
- said Patricia Janak, senior author and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins..
- David Ottenheimer, lead author and a former Johns Hopkins doctoral student who is now at the University of Washington, said he devised the research to determine how the neurons in the ventral pallidum related to the food decisions subjects made as their preference shifted due to changes in physiological state..
- At the same time the team was monitoring the brain activity and found that the neurons reflected the rats’ choices for each reward…