Scientists “Turn Off” Enjoyment of Food in Mice

Compares findings to a person experiencing no pleasure from their favorite food

Image Credits: seanchicoine, Flickr.

New research in mice has revealed that the brain’s underlying desire for sweet, and its distaste for bitter, can be erased by manipulating neurons in the amygdala, the emotion center of the brain.

The study showed that removing an animal’s capacity to crave or despise a taste had no impact on its ability to identify it. The findings suggest that the brain’s complex taste system — which produces an array of thoughts, memories and emotions when tasting food — are actually discrete units that can be individually isolated, modified or removed all together.

The research points to new strategies for understanding and treating eating disorders including obesity and anorexia nervosa.

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