Via ScienceDaily, a new Current Biology study found that stimulating a reward center of the rat brain, the neostriatum, with opioids caused rats to eat more than twice as many M&Ms as they normally would have.
Though they ate more candies, they didn’t get any additional pleasure from the candies, suggesting that the neostriatum has to do with wanting and eating rather than with liking. This means that the impulse to overeat can be divorced from the pleasure of actual eating. Yikes!
Isn’t it great how M&Ms can teach us about how the reward centers of the brain work? Hooray science!