Motivation pp 329-366 | Cite as

Brain Neurochemistry and the Control of Food Intake

  • Edward M. Stricker


This chapter considers research and theory relating brain neurochemistry to the control of food intake. Speculations concerning central neurochemical influences on behavior began less than 25 years ago, when Holzbauer and Vogt (1956) demonstrated that the concentration of norepinephrine (NE) in cats’ brains was lowered by administration of the antipsychotic sedative agent, reserpine. Since that first trickle, an ocean of information has accumulated concerning the anatomy and biochemistry of neurons that use biogenic amines as neurotransmitters. This work, together with evidence obtained from the increased use of drugs in the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, has provided the basis for new theories of schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and learning disabilities (e.g., Hornykiewicz, 1966; S. H. Snyder et al., 1974; Wender, 1974). Despite their different foci, the theories all suggest that the biogenic amine-containing neurons have important roles in the mediation of central arousal, that is, waking, attention, and the behavioral responses to diverse sensory stimuli. These theories are compatible with the anatomy of the central monoaminergic neurons—diffuse projections to the cerebellum, limbic forebrain, basal ganglia, and neocortex arising from a few discrete cell groups in the brainstem (e.g., Moore and Bloom, 1979; Ungerstedt, 1971a).


Tyrosine Hydroxylase Physiological Psychology Lateral Hypothalamus Hypothalamic Lesion Intraventricular Injection 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward M. Stricker
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychology and Biological SciencesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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