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New Haven, CT, United States

Nolan-Poupart S.,Affective Sensory Neuroscience Laboratory | Veldhuizen M.G.,Affective Sensory Neuroscience Laboratory | Veldhuizen M.G.,Yale University | Geha P.,Affective Sensory Neuroscience Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
Appetite | Year: 2013

There is now widespread agreement that individual variation in the neural circuits representing the reinforcing properties of foods may be associated with risk for overeating and obesity. What is currently unknown is how and whether brain response to a food is related to immediate subsequent intake of that food. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test whether response to a palatable milkshake is associated with subsequent ad libitum milkshake consumption. We predicted that enhanced responses in key reward regions (insula, striatum, midbrain, medial orbitofrontal cortex) and decreased responses in regions implicated in self-control (lateral prefrontal and lateral orbitofrontal cortex) would be associated with greater intake. We found a significant positive association between response to milkshake in the periaqueductal gray region of the midbrain and ad libitum milkshake intake. Although strong bilateral insular responses were observed during consumption of the milkshake this response did not correlate with subsequent intake. The associations observed in the midbrain and orbitofrontal cortex were uninfluenced by ratings of hunger, which were near neutral. We conclude that midbrain response to a palatable food is related to eating in the absence of hunger. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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