Functional Imaging in Obesity and its Complications: Understanding Food Craving and Satiety
University of Pennsylvania
Food craving is an intense desire to eat a specific food. This presentation shows how diet manipulation and cue-induction techniques can be used to trigger food cravings while individuals are undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Subjects received either normal or monotonous diets prior to scanning and were presented with liked versus monotonous food cues during imaging. As predicted, monotonous diet was accompanied by increased craving during fMRI and by differential activation in limbic, paralimbic, and basal ganglia regions. Results suggest a common neural substrate for food and drug craving, and are discussed in relationship to the obesity literature.