Dardo Tomasi1, Gene-Jack Wang1, Ruiliang L. Wang1, Walter Backus2, Frank Telang1, Christopher Wong1, Allan Geliebter3,4, Joanna S. Fowler1, Nora D. Volkow5
1Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA; 2Department of Anesthesiology, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, USA; 3St. Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital, NY, USA; 4Columbia University, NY, USA; 5National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
Here we used fMRI and a gastric distension paradigm to study the effects of gastric volume (GV) and rate of gastric volume changes (RGVC) on brain activation. We show that the amygdala senses the balloon volume while the insula senses balloon volume changes as a function of time. Furthermore, GV activated the cerebellum proportionally to BMI. This study highlights the important role of the amygdala, posterior insula, and cerebellum for the processing of vagal signals from the stomach in lean and obese subjects, and identifies the cerebellum as a region involved in the obese phenotype that merits further investigation.