Effects of high-fat diet exposure on learning & memory

Physiol Behav. 2015 Dec 1;152(Pt B):363-71. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.06.008. Epub 2015 Jun 9.


The associations between consumption of a high-fat or 'Western' diet and metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease have long been recognized and a great deal of evidence now suggests that diets high in fat can also have a profound impact on the brain, behavior, and cognition. Here, we will review the techniques most often used to assess learning and memory in rodent models and discuss findings from studies assessing the cognitive effects of high-fat diet consumption. The review will then consider potential underlying mechanisms in the brain and conclude by reviewing emerging literature suggesting that maternal consumption of a high-fat diet may have effects on the learning and memory of offspring.

Keywords: Animal models; Behavior; Cognition; High-fat diet; Learning; Memory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Learning* / physiology
  • Memory* / physiology