• Now available! Download high quality food images for your own study!
  • Our main research method is functional MRI. Click on the image to read more about our research.

Welcome to the website of the Nutritional Neuroscience Laboratory

The Nutritional Neuroscience lab studies the neural correlates of taste, satiety and (unhealthy) food choice, gut-brain interactions, effects of personality characteristics on food-induced brain responses and functional neuroimaging in anorexia nervosa. For more details about our research, recent publications, or our team, check the corresponding pages in the menu above. On our Resources page, you can download stimuli and tasks developed in our laboratory.

Publication NeuroImage

Floor's meta-analysis has been published in NeuroImage, read it here!

 Food cues are all around us, and they may be causing us to eat more than we should. In the last two decades the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased dramatically all over the world, largely due to overconsumption. Understanding children's neural responses to food may help to develop better interventions for preventing or reducing this overconsumption. We wanted to examine how children’s brains react to viewing food pictures, and whether that differs from adult’s brains. To do this we performed two activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses: one with studies in normal weight children/adolescents (aged 8–18, 8 studies) and one with studies in normal weight adults (aged 18–45, 16 studies). With an ALE meta-analysis you can determine which areas in the brain have consistently been found over studies. All studies used functional MRI to measure brain activation during food picture viewing. In children/adolescents we found clusters in the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the bilateral fusiform gyrus, and the right superior parietal lobule. In adults, clusters in similar areas were found.Although the number of studies for a direct statistical comparison between the groups was relatively low, there were indications that children/adolescents may not activate areas important for cognitive control. In future studies children in a narrower age-range should be directly compared to adults, as this would lead to more insights in to how food cue reactivity changes over development.

Read the full publication here

 

logo eu

Research from the Nutritional Neuroscience Lab was funded by grants from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

The Nutritional Neuroscience Lab is affiliated with the Image Sciences Institute of the University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.