Neural correlates of individual differences related to appetite

Physiol Behav. 2009 Jul 14;97(5):561-71. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.04.001. Epub 2009 Apr 7.


Using neuroimaging technologies to compare normal weight and obese individuals can reveal much about the pathophysiological state of obesity but such comparisons tell us little about what makes some normal weight individuals susceptible to obesity or about important individual differences amongst obese individuals. The current review therefore reviews neuroimaging research on individual difference measures that can illuminate these important topics. After introducing three neuropsychological models of the nature of motivation to approach rewarding stimuli, neuroimaging research on measures of impulsivity, craving, binge eating, restrained eating and disinhibited eating is reviewed. Although neuroimaging research on individual differences measures of brain activity related to appetite is in its infancy, existing studies suggest that such research could enrich the understanding, prevention and treatment of disordered eating and obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appetite*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / pathology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / physiopathology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Individuality*