Scientists have found in the brain of mice "gluttony zone"
Yale University scientists have found a zone in the mouse brain, the stimulation of which led the subjects to a real gluttony. Even if the rodents were full, it seemed to them that they were hungry. And lovers of tasty food preferred delicacies, which for mice are an analogue of human chips, sweets and cakes.
As the researchers themselves admit, they did not expect such a reaction. By activating with the help of light pulses neurons in the brain area called the "indefinite zone" (zona incerta), scientists noticed that rodents are constantly returning to the feeder. And although there are other areas responsible for digestion and energy metabolism, not one of them could have caused such a desire in rodents to satisfy hunger. Experimental mice could eat up to a third of the daily norm in a few minutes.
At the same time, apparently, the mice liked the process of reckless hedonism itself: they remained in that part of the aquarium where the mechanism for activating the indefinite zone was located, even if it was turned off.
Previously, researchers did not pay much attention to the small zona incerta, working with other parts of the brain, and did not really know what its functions were. However, it has been repeatedly noted that in some patients a strong appetite woke up after deep brain stimulation in the treatment of motor disorders. This procedure is carried out in areas of the brain adjacent to zona incerta, and now scientists do not exclude that it was her accidental stimulation that caused such an increased interest in food.
Now a new stage of research will confirm or refute this hypothesis.
Research in the field of neurophysiological mechanisms affecting appetite has been very interesting for scientists in recent years. Researchers want to understand what drives people to gluttony. Thus, they hope to stop the obesity tendency that is observed in humanity.