HOW DOES THE BRAIN CONTROL EATING BEHAVIOR???
Most studies of the neural basis of ingestive behavior focus on homeostatic (i.e., need-based) and hedonic (i.e. pleasure/reward-based) controls of energy intake.
In the Parent lab, however, we focus on a how cognition controls eating. Our research is revealing a novel brain circuit that inhibits meal initiation and meal size.
“Should I eat now? I probably shouldn’t eat much since I had a big lunch earlier today.”
These statements reflect the fact that humans and other animals often use autobiographical (i.e., episodic) memory to control energy intake.
The goal of research conducted in Parent lab is to determine:
- The neural mechanisms that allow cognition to modulate energy intake
- Whether impaired cognition contributes to the development and/or maintenance of diet-induced obesity