Why Did I Eat That? Obesity and the Neuroscience of Food Craving

Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 2:00 pm EDT
Meet the Scientist - October 2020

While urges to eat are regulated by hunger, our need for energy, and our sense of satiety or fullness, they’re also strongly influenced by sights, sounds, and smells associated with food. Dr. Ferrario’s research, which draws on concepts in addiction and learning, explores the neurobiological mechanisms of cue-triggered food craving and how these are influenced by consumption of sugary, fatty, “junk-food” diets and individual susceptibility to obesity. She will discuss how alterations in excitatory nerve-cell transmission within the brain's reward pathway influences food craving, and how these alterations relate to eating behaviors.

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Presented by 
Carrie Ferrario, Ph.D.
Carrie Ferrario, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology

University of Michigan Medical School

2014 Young Investigator Grant

Dr. Ferrario joined the Pharmacology Department faculty in 2012 and is an external member of the Modern Diet and Physiology Research Center of the John B. Pierce Lab at Yale. She became an Associate Member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2016 and is currently serving as the Pharmacology Department Faculty Ally for Diversity and is a board member of the Conference on Winter Brain Research. Her lab’s primary focus is on examining obesity-related changes in striatal function and motivated behaviors such as food-seeking and eating, as well as similarities and differences between alterations in motivation driving obesity and drug addiction.

Moderated by 
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

President and CEO

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy Award-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host of the series. The program, which is broadcast nationwide, focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Borenstein is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves as the Chair of the Section of Psychiatry at the Academy. He has served as the President of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems. Among the many honors to his credit are the National Alliance on Mental Illness of NY State Connie Lieber Award, the American Psychiatric Association Special Presidential Commendation, and the Federation of Organizations Community Mental Health Man of the Year Award.