Pleasure of Food in the Brain
Fjaeldstad A., van Hartevelt TJ., Kringelbach ML.
Abstract The survival of individuals as well as species relies on a few fundamental necessities. In order to survive, we need food, procreation and social interactions. These are arguably also the most pleasurable activities and they all are known to stimulate an array of sensory systems. The multisensory perception of food is very complex and includes more than just smell and taste. Flavour perception relies also on visual and auditory input. Food can be highly pleasurable and the act of eating extremely satisfying. The eating process can be described as a cyclic process of hunger, consumption and satiation. These three stages can also be described as the wanting, liking and learning phases, though learning does occur throughout the entire eating process, it is strongest in the later satiation phase. The related hedonic processing takes place in the orbitofrontal cortex (a crucial area for smell) where other multimodal stimuli are processed as well as reward and pleasure.