Primal brain areas activated by food

Researchers at the University of Utah’s Brain Institute have found evidence that adolescent brains respond differently to food than adult brains do. In teenagers, food is associated with the activation of primitive reward systems in the cerebellum. In adults, food is related to activity in the frontal cortex, an area linked to planning, abstract thought, and long-term goal-seeking behaviour.

Brain researchers have long been aware that the brain continues changing throughout adolescence into young adulthood. The Brain Institute researchers interpreted these results as evidence that teen’s behaviours are more likely to be driven by immediate gratification than more abstract goals.

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