Science & Technology

Can’t you stop eating?Blame your brain

If we could eat as easily as we put gasoline in a car, we would strictly nourish ourselves for energy purposes. In fact, you may eat it when you don’t need it. People treat themselves during times of stress and sadness. For example, you might want to get the most out of your buffet breakfast or find a lonely cookie in the cupboard. This is the same as returning to a gas station even though the tank is full. It’s totally ridiculous.

However, you cannot fill the car and eat Exactly same. Unless you feel the bright light and diesel smoke are particularly thrilling, you won’t get the same dopamine rush as munching on Twix. In fact, the high fat and sugar content of processed foods activates the reward pathways in the brain and drives us to consume more.Studies show that high-calorie foods Change The structure of the brain by stimulating neural pathways that encourage more frequent search for food.

Scientists also believe that eating too much energy-dense food is an example of what they have learned. If good food is consumed regularly in the same context, we may come to associate it with eating random food in our environment. Associating food and other stimuli with irrelevant cues is known as classical conditioning. This phenomenon was first demonstrated by the Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov.Pavlov Trained A dog that associates the sight of food with the sound of a metronome. After just a few trials, the puppy drooled in anticipation of supper with only a clicking sound.

Attractive environment

Humans are no longer complicated. You can dine with almost anything, such as time of day, specific emotions, watching TV, and so on. Studies have shown that we can even associate food with the most arbitrary environment.

so 2013 study Was announced in appetiteParticipants wore virtual reality headsets and wandered around the Italian square and Japanese martial arts studios. Half of the participants received chocolate milkshakes at the plaza and the other half were given to them at the martial arts studio. After several iterations, participants produced more saliva and felt hungry in the conditioned room.

Appetizing foods and cravings for foods are not the only things that happen in response to environmental triggers. Our whole body prepares to stop us. In response, it releases digestive hormones, secretes gastric juice, and activates the neural pathways involved in the diet. When someone experiences conditioning, it is powerful enough to negate the need for nutrition and stimulate the diet in the absence of genuine hunger. Many researchers believe that it plays an important but underestimated role in the obesity epidemic and the development of bulimia nervosa.

Since Pavlov experimented with dogs over a century ago, researchers have explored the concept of food conditioning, but recently discovered which parts of the brain are involved in the learned feeding behavior. bottom.

In fact, a group of scientists from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore Stumble The entire neural circuit involved in binge eating that was learned by chance. They were conducting experiments to identify the function of brain regions involved in groups of neurons in the hypothalamus, appetite regulation, sexual arousal, and other processes essential for survival. Artificial activation of a neuron cluster called tuberculosis somatostatin neurons forced the mice to overeat, even if they were already full.

These neurons are specifically activated each time you gaze at high-sugar or high-fat foods.research Release By the same group earlier this year Nature Neuroscience The clusters were found to be directly linked to another part of the hypothalamus called the subthalamus.

While tuberculosis neurons respond to high-calorie foods and flood our brains with dopamine, the subiculum responds by taking mental “snapshots” of our surroundings. Therefore, the connection between the two brain regions connects the sensation of delicious food that induces dopamine with the surroundings. The more we unknowingly associate our eating with environmental cues, the stronger our neural connections.

In the absence of conditioning, these neurons drive us to eat only when we feel hungry. This is due to elevated levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin, which partially activates somatostatin neurons in tuberculosis, explains lead research author YuFu. When mice repeatedly devour delicious food in specific locations, the subiculum-to-tuberculosis pathway becomes so strong that neurons do not need to be stimulated on an empty stomach. “The environment itself can negate the lack of hunger and feed the animals,” says Fu.

Mind driven hanger

Evolution can explain the existence of appetizing foods and the integration of spatial information. As a hunter-gatherer, the lack of energy-rich food resources has stimulated the human brain to pay close attention to the environment in case a promising hunt is encountered.

In this context, the sub-icurum takes notes of the surroundings in the mind and triggers the behavior of looking for food in the event of similar situations in the future. In the age of rarity, this was a matter of life and death. Today, if fried chicken is delivered to the door within an hour of entering the bucket, the environment’s ability to stimulate the diet becomes maladapted and can be harmful to health.

the study Have got It is shown On average, food consumption in obese people is more likely to reflect a conditioned response and is more influenced by external cues than by internal hunger.

However, it is not clear why some people are more susceptible to food conditioning than others. Interestingly, vulnerabilities to food cues can be inherited, suggesting that some people have a genetic predisposition to learn to overeat.Possible causes: mutations in genes related to obesity, etc. FTO, Is associated with elevated ghrelin levels. Relatively high levels of appetite-stimulating hormone may increase the sensitivity to tuberculosis somatostatin activity, but other genetic mutations may also play a role.

Highly likely to be the environment problemAlso, research shows that relatively long working hours and certain geographic locations (as opposed to generally theorized income) can increase significantly. Impact More fast food consumption. Parents who spend more time at work can, for example, introduce these eating habits to children who continue to do so throughout adulthood.

However, a conditional diet can be overcome by “exposure therapy”. mouse When human.. By exposing ourselves to the triggers of our environment and resisting food, the conditioned association is not strengthened. Instead, teach yourself that food cues do not always promote your diet and can weaken your learned response.

The clinical application of learned binge eating is still in its infancy, but this type of behavior therapy is expensive. Potentially dangerous Surgical procedure. Instead of gastric bypass surgery, meditation at McDonald’s may have been ordered by a doctor.

Can’t you stop eating?Blame your brain

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