The role of corticostriatal–hypothalamic neural circuits in feeding behaviour: implications for obesity

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Abstract: Emerging evidence from human imaging studies suggests that obese individuals have altered connectivity between the hypothalamus, the key brain region controlling energy homeostasis, and cortical regions involved in decision-making and reward processing. Historically, animal studies have demonstrated that the lateral hypothalamus is the key hypothalamic region involved in feeding and reward. The lateral hypothalamus is a heterogeneous structure comprised of several distinct types of neurons which are scattered throughout. In addition, the lateral hypothalamus receives inputs from a number of cortical brain regions suggesting that it is uniquely positioned to be a key integrator of cortical information and metabolic feedback. In this review, we summarize how human brain imaging can inform detailed animal studies to investigate neural pathways connecting cortical regions and the hypothalamus. Here, we discuss key cortical brain regions that are reciprocally connected to the lateral hypothalamus and are implicated in decision-making processes surrounding food. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-729
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • cortex
  • food reward
  • lateral hypothalamus
  • obesity

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