Project One

The central focus of our lab is examining the neural network that mediates various aspects of feeding behavior. This research expands our knowledge of the neural circuitry critical to palatability driven feeding and carry implications for understanding the maladaptive feeding behaviors involved in the development of obesity and food-addiction behaviors. These studies have involved examining the endogenous opioid system within the nucleus accumbens, a region where opioids produce powerful influences on feeding behavior. Recent studies have explored both the basolateral and central nucleus of the amygdala and their differential contributions to feeding driven by hunger (homeostatic) vs. the palatable nature (hedonic) of the diet alone.