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How The Nervous System Controls

How the Nervous System Controls Eating Behavior

How does the nervous system control eating behavior so that some time after we eat a certain food, usually caloric, we are led to want to eat it again by taste, smell and other sensations?

This question intrigues Brazilian researcher Ivan de Araujo, associate professor of Psychiatry and of Cellular & Molecular Physiology at the Yale School of Medicine in the United States. After graduating from the University of Brasília (named after Brazil‘s capital city) he earned a master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh (UK) and a PhD from the University of Oxford (UK).

To find answers, Araujo has performed a number of studies with the aim of identifying neural circuits associated with hunger, satiety, palatability, and the pleasure provided by food, as well as investigating the mechanisms whereby the nervous system controls eating behavior.

At the end of September Araujo visited Brazil to participate as a speaker in the São Paulo School of Advanced Science on Reverse Engineering of Processed Foods, held at the University of Campinas’s Food Engineering School (FEA-UNICAMP).

One of the aims of the event, which was supported by FAPESPunder its São Paulo School of Advanced Science (SPSAS) program, was to discuss novel ways of developing processed foods that can help solve health problems or increase satiety to reduce caloric intake, for example.


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