Researchers have new evidence in rats to explain how it is that chocolate candies can be so completely irresistible. The urge to overeat such deliciously sweet and fatty treats traces to an unexpected part of the brain and its production of a natural, opium-like chemical.
AgRP neurons in the hypothalamus play a critical role in shaping the structure and function of the prefrontal cortex in mice. The findings shed light on how the prefrontal cortex is altered in disorders such as schizophrenia.
The brain regulates both eating for hunger and pleasure through serotonin-producing neurons in the midbrain, but the different types of feeding are wired by independent circuits that do not influence the other type of feeding.