neural explanations for obesity

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  • Neural explanations of obesity
    • obesity results from abnormally functioning brain mechanisms
      • hypothalamus plays the central role in regulation of eating
        • VMH acts as the satiety centre
      • the action of leptin upon the brain neurones
    • testing
      • studying animal studies
      • faulty functioning brain structures and neurological mechanisms of obese individuals
    • Reeves and Plum (1969)
      • post-mortem of an obese female finding the VMH to be destroyed
    • Yang (2012)
      • increasing the signalling POMC neurone was positively correlated with age-dependent obesity in mice
      • neural factors may be able to explain why obesity increases with age
    • evaluation
      • research indicates that the main bio factors are genetics and evolutionary explanations
      • research tends to be correlational - doesn't establish cause and effect
      • animal studies
        • cannot be generalised to humans
      • Stice et al (2008) found obese people have poorly functioning dorsal striatum - lessened dopamine signalling in brain, causing overeating. Demonstrates role of neurotransmitter dopamine in determining obesity.


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