/ Modified feb 17, 2022 4:37 p.m.

University of Arizona-backed research is finding the source for feelings of hunger

The part of the inner brain that produces sensations of hunger and fullness is familiar to neuroscientists.

buzz umart shelves Sparse shelves at the University of Arizona's Arizona Market Nov. 17, 2021.
Samantha Larned/AZPM

University of Arizona researchers are narrowing down the search for what causes us to feel hungry.

UA neuroscientist Haijiang Cai says previous research identified a hormone connected to feelings of hunger and satiation, or “fullness.”

Now he’s looking at the neural circuitry in the amygdala, the part of the brain that also controls fear, pain, and other strong emotions.

“These neurons might be the intersection between the eating circuits and the emotion circuits,” said Cai.

Confirming the location and the method the brain uses to judge how full your stomach feels could help scientists better target drugs to treat eating disorders or weight management.

The research is scheduled to be published in the journal Molecular Metabolism this spring.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona