brain circuits related to Reward responded to romantic images after the women study participants had eaten.
The study, published in appetite compared the reward response to romantic signs in women with a history of diet for non-dieters.
“We found that young women with and without a history of diet had increased brain activation in response to romantic images into neural regions associated with reward after eating when hungry,” reports the first author of Alicia Ely a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California Medical School in San Diego.
Previous studies have indicated that people are often more sensitive to rewarding stimuli such as food, money and drugs when they are hungry. However, this was not the case in the new study.
“These data suggest that food can be prime or sensitize young women to rewards beyond the food,” says Ely. “It is also compatible with a shared neurocircuito for food and sex.”
Ely and colleagues at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had previously conducted a pilot study – published in Obesity – among college age women that examined how the brain is affected for key food, and whether these responses differed among people who do not make historical diet and diet.
They found that women with a history of dieting responded more dramatically to the positive signals food (like chocolate cake) than those who had never dieted or were following a diet.
people who make historical diet have been identified as an increased risk of weight gain, so the researchers concluded that the area of the brain associated with reward may be more predisposed to crave foods than those who had never dieted.
consistent with previous research findings
Because of these findings, Ely and his colleagues hypothesized that the historical diet are differentially sensitive to stimuli reward in general and decided to test his theory examined brain activation when viewing romantic images compared to neutral stimuli in both fasting and fed states.
Using magnetic resonance imaging ( MRI ), researchers found that among the two people making historical diet and do not diet, the brain circuitry associated with reward responded to the most romantic signals after eating.
However, the neural activity in a brain region that make historical diet ‘was significantly different from that observed in the brains not dieters. people who make historical diet were more sensitive to romantic signals in the superior frontal gyrus fasting and middle temporal gyrus when feeding.
“The pattern of response was similar to the activation historical diet ‘when viewing the signals of highly palatable, and is consistent with research showing overlapping responses based on the brain sex, drugs and food , “Ely says.
According to the Boston Medical Center, an estimated 45 million Americans diet each year and yet, despite this, nearly two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. neurological factors may play a role in the prevalence of obesity
Last month Medical News Today reported on a study that found that women who survive breast cancer are more likely to gain weight over the following years that women who have had cancer , with survivors earning an average of 3.6 pounds over weight.