A core eating network and its modulations underlie diverse eating phenomena

Chen, J., Papies, E. K. and Barsalou, L. W. (2016) A core eating network and its modulations underlie diverse eating phenomena. Brain and Cognition, 110, pp. 20-42. (doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2016.04.004) (PMID:7156016)

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We propose that a core eating network and its modulations account for much of what is currently known about the neural activity underlying a wide range of eating phenomena in humans (excluding homeostasis and related phenomena). The core eating network is closely adapted from a network that Kaye, Fudge, and Paulus (2009) proposed to explain the neurocircuitry of eating, including a ventral reward pathway and a dorsal control pathway. In a review across multiple literatures that focuses on experiments using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), we first show that neural responses to food cues, such as food pictures, utilize the same core eating network as eating. Consistent with the theoretical perspective of grounded cognition, food cues activate eating simulations that produce reward predictions about a perceived food and potentially motivate its consumption. Reviewing additional literatures, we then illustrate how various factors modulate the core eating network, increasing and/or decreasing activity in subsets of its neural areas. These modulating factors include food significance (palatability, hunger), body mass index (BMI, overweight/obesity), eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating), and various eating goals (losing weight, hedonic pleasure, healthy living). By viewing all these phenomena as modulating a core eating network, it becomes possible to understand how they are related to one another within this common theoretical framework. Finally, we discuss future directions for better establishing the core eating network, its modulations, and their implications for behavior.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Core eating network, food cues, grounded cognition, neuroimaging.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chen, Ms Jing and Papies, Dr Esther and Barsalou, Professor Lawrence
Authors: Chen, J., Papies, E. K., and Barsalou, L. W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Brain and Cognition
Published Online:05 May 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
First Published:First published in Brain and Cognition 110: 20-42
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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