Scientists Find Eating Control Neuron

Scientists have discovered that there is a neuron inside a mouse’s brain that can be activated to encourage it to eat more.

There has long been a debate about the effect that different areas of the brain might have on the way people eat. The study results have been published in the Nature Neuroscience journal. The assessment focused on the prefrontal cortex area of the brain, which is known to affect decision-making. Scientists have suggested in the past that this area of the brain could affect the eating patterns of mammals but have so far been unable to explain how it works.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that focuses on the brain’s pleasure and reward centers and is also known to be instrumental in the food intake function. An animal that has a low level of this substance will usually stop eating and eventually die as a result. Mice were used in the laboratory for this study and the dopamine-receptor neurons were activated. This led to the mice taking in more food than they normally would. Switching off the neurons discouraged them from eating.

Effects of Dompamine on Human Mind

This section of the brain also interacts with other parts of the brain. This includes the amygdala, an area of the brain significant in emotional responses. The scientists involved believe that this indicates that the eating behavior is ruled from the point at which the emotional centers and the areas connected to the decision-making part of the brain connect. This could be significant in the development of medications for controlling eating behavior.

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