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Review
. 2010 Nov;97(1):34-46.
doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.05.016. Epub 2010 May 24.

Hedonic and Motivational Roles of Opioids in Food Reward: Implications for Overeating Disorders

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Review

Hedonic and Motivational Roles of Opioids in Food Reward: Implications for Overeating Disorders

Susana Peciña et al. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. .

Abstract

Food reward can be driven by separable mechanisms of hedonic impact (food 'liking') and incentive motivation (food 'wanting'). Brain mu-opioid systems contribute crucially to both forms of food reward. Yet, opioid signals for food 'liking' and 'wanting' diverge in anatomical substrates, in pathways connecting these sites, and in the firing profiles of single neurons. Divergent neural control of hedonic and motivational processes raises the possibility for joint or separable modulation of food intake in human disorders associated with excessive eating and obesity. Early findings confirm an important role for 'liking' and 'wanting' in human appetitive behaviors, and suggest the intriguing possibility that exaggerated signals for 'wanting,' and perhaps 'liking,' may contribute to forms of overeating.

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