Led by principal investigator Alexandra DiFeliceantonio, Ph.D., the DiFeliceantonio Lab uses multimodal imaging and metabolic measures to study how the brain integrates peripheral signals to guide food motivation, choice, and eating behavior. Dr. DiFeliceantonio is an appetitive neuroscience researcher focused on understanding the circuitry underlying both normal and aberrant motivational processes with a focus on diet and food motivation.
Her previous studies show that people value foods that combine high levels of fats and carbs more than high-fat-only or high-carb-only foods on their own. Brain scan studies back up this assumption. Her research shows that when people ingest high-fat, high-carb foods, dopamine is released in their brain’s striatum twice: once while it’s being eaten, and again 30 minutes later as it’s digested.