Satiety-induced enhanced neuronal activity in the frontal operculum relates to the desire for food in the obese female brain
In the present pilot study, we questioned how eating to satiety affects cognitive influences on the desire for food and corresponding neuronal activity in the obese female brain. During EEG recording, lean (n = 10) and obese women (n = 10) self-rated the ability to reappraise visually presented food. All women were measured twice, when hungry and after eating to satiety. After eating to satiety, reappraisal of food was easier than when being hungry. Comparing the EEG data of the sated to the hungry state, we found that only in obese women the frontal operculum was involved not only in the reappraisal of food but also in admitting the desire for the same food. The right frontal operculum in the obese female brain, assumed to primarily host gustatory processes, may be involved in opposing cognitive influences on the desire for food. These findings may help to find potential brain targets for non-invasive brain stimulation or neurofeedback studies that aim at modulating the desire for food.
KeywordsObesity Neuroscience Eating behaviors Central feeding regulation Central obesity
We would like to thank Benjamin Blankertz, Klaus-Robert Müller, Gabriel Curio, Arne Ewald and Sven Dähne for fruitful discussions, Sylvia Stasch for support with the data acquisition, and Cate Hancock for proofreading. The study was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the CRC Grant 1052 ‘ObesityMechanisms’ to project A06 (to BP, JM, HJH, SK, FG, CB) and to the CRC 874 ‘Integration and Representation of Sensory Processes’ to project A10 (to BP). The study was also funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the nutriCARD cluster to BP.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
- Horstmann A, Busse FP, Mathar D, Müller K, Lepsien J, Schlögl H, Kabisch S, Kratzsch J, Neumann J, Stumvoll M, Villringer B, Pleger B (2011) Obesity-related differences between women and men in brain structure and goal-directed behavior. Front Hum Neurosci 5:58CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Melasch J, Rullmann M, Hilbert A, Luthardt J, Becker GA, Patt M, Stumvoll M, Blüher M, Villringer A, Arelin K, Meyer PM, Bresch A, Sabri O, Hesse S, Pleger B (2016) Sex differences in serotonin-hypothalamic connections underpin a diminished sense of emotional well-being with increasing body weight. Int J Obes (Lond) 40:1268–1277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Urry HL, van Reekum CM, Johnstone T, Kalin NH, Thurow ME, Schaefer HS, Jackson CA, Frye CJ, Greischar LL, Alexander AL, Davidson RJ (2006) Amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex are inversely coupled during regulation of negative affect and predict the diurnal pattern of cortisol secretion among older adults. J Neurosci 26:4415–4425CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar