A deeper understanding of the biological and psychological factors that contribute to the consumption of highly hedonic foods in excess will help to guide the development of effective pharmacological and behavioral obesity treatments. This chapter describes rodent models that have been particularly helpful in unraveling the neural basis of hedonic-driven feeding behavior and shows the importance of the dopaminergic and opioidergic systems in feeding control. Knowledge of food hedonics derived from animal models has yielded tremendous insight into the biological systems that control energy balance. Many of the behavioral neuroscience methods currently used to investigate the hedonic effects of food are adapted from drug addiction research. The chapter reviews the application of the behavioral procedures to examine food reward in rodent models. Binge eating involves eating a larger amount of food in a brief period of time than would normally be consumed under similar circumstances. This book deeply discusses the neurobiology of binge eating.
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