Scientists Reveal a Key Link between Brain Circuits Governing Hunger and Cravings

BOSTON – The urge to satisfy hunger is a primal one, but – as any dieter knows – choices about when and what to eat can be influenced by cues in the environment, not just how long it’s been since breakfast. The fact that food-associated visual cues in television commercials and on highway signs can contribute to overeating is well-documented. But how exactly do these external signals trigger cravings and influence behavior? ...
— Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Imaging the effects of hunger on the brain's response to food cues

Our brain pays more attention to food when we are hungry than when we are sated. Now a team of scientists has shed light on how the needs of the body affect the way the brain processes visual food cues. In two newly-published studies, the researchers examined – with unprecedented resolution – the brain circuits responsible for the differences in the way the brain responds to visual food cues during hunger versus satiety.
— ScienceDaily

Andermann Lab: Understanding Food Cues

Dr. Mark Andermann is a researcher in BIDMC's Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. His work aims to understand how hunger and external food cues cause changes in the brain and their potential consequences for obesity, binge eating and other eating disorders. Using novel imaging technologies to assess exactly how hunger influences sensory processing, Andermann's work is providing answers to fundamental questions to help guide the development of treatments for obesity.