Traditional models of appetite control have emphasised the role of parallel homeostatic and hedonic systems, but more recently the distinction between independent homeostatic and hedonic systems has been abandoned in favour of a framework that emphasises the cross talk between the neurochemical substrates of the two systems. In addition, evidence has emerged more recently, that higher level cognitive functions such as learning, memory and attention play an important role in everyday appetite control and that homeostatic signals also play a role in cognition. Here, we review this evidence and present a comprehensive model of the control of appetite that integrates cognitive, homeostatic and reward mechanisms. We discuss the implications of this model for understanding the factors that may contribute to disordered patterns of eating and suggest opportunities for developing more effective treatment approaches for eating disorders and weight management.
Keywords: Food reward; appetite control; cognition; metabolic signals.