Remember to feed your feed well before doing anything romantic, as a new study claims that a woman’s brain respond more to romantic cues on a full stomach than an empty one.
Alice Ely of the College of Arts and Sciences said that they found that young women both with and without a history of dieting had greater brain activation in response to romantic pictures in reward-related neural regions after having eaten than when hungry.
She said that the research data suggested that eating may prime or sensitise young women to rewards beyond food. It also supports a shared neurocircuitry for food and sex.
In the study, the researchers looked at whether the brain’s reward response to food differed significantly in women at risk for future obesity versus those who had never dieted.
All of the study participants were young, college-age women of normal weight.
The researchers found that the brains of women with a history of dieting responded more dramatically to positive food cues when fed as compared to women who had never dieted or who were currently dieting.
Ely said the data suggested historical dieters, who longitudinal studies had shown were more at risk for weight gain, might be predisposed by their brain reward circuitry to desire food more than people who have not dieted.
After using MRI imaging, the historical dieters’ neural activity noticeably differed from the non-dieters in one brain region that had also turned up in the earlier food studies.
Ely said that the pattern of response was similar to historical dieter’s activation when viewing highly palatable food cues, adding was consistent with research showing overlapping brain-based responses to sex, drugs and food.
The study is the published in the journal Appetite.