Resting-state brain connectivity after surgical and behavioral weight loss

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Jul;23(7):1422-8. doi: 10.1002/oby.21119. Epub 2015 Jun 5.


Objective: Changes in food-cue neural reactivity associated with behavioral and surgical weight loss interventions have been reported. Resting functional connectivity represents tonic neural activity that may contribute to weight loss success. This study explores whether intervention type is associated with differences in functional connectivity after weight loss.

Methods: Fifteen participants with obesity were recruited prior to adjustable gastric banding surgery. Thirteen demographically matched participants with obesity were selected from a separate behavioral diet intervention. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was collected 3 months after surgery/behavioral intervention. ANOVA was used to examine post-weight loss differences between the two groups in connectivity to seed regions previously identified as showing differential cue-reactivity after weight loss.

Results: Following weight loss, behavioral dieters exhibited increased connectivity between left precuneus/superior parietal lobule (SPL) and bilateral insula pre- to postmeal and bariatric patients exhibited decreased connectivity between these regions pre- to postmeal (P(corrected) <0.05).

Conclusions: Behavioral dieters showed increased connectivity pre- to postmeal between a region associated with processing of self-referent information (precuneus/SPL) and a region associated with interoception (insula) whereas bariatric patients showed decreased connectivity between these regions. This may reflect increased attention to hunger signals following surgical procedures and increased attention to satiety signals following behavioral diet interventions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass / methods
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Weight Loss / physiology*