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Chocoholic mice fear no pain

Date:
February 11, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
Ever get a buzz from eating chocolate? Scientists have shown that chocolate-craving mice are ready to tolerate electric shocks to get their fix.
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Ever get a buzz from eating chocolate? A study published in the open access journal BMC Neuroscience has shown that chocolate-craving mice are ready to tolerate electric shocks to get their fix.

Rossella Ventura worked with a team of researchers from the Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy, to study the links between stress and compulsive food-seeking. She said, “We used a new model of compulsive behavior to test whether a previous stressful experience of hunger might override a conditioned response to avoid a certain kind of food – in this case, chocolate”.

Ventura and her colleagues first trained well-fed mice and starved mice to seek chocolate in one chamber rather than going into an empty chamber. Then, they added a mild electric shock to the chamber containing the chocolate. Unsurprisingly, the well-fed animals avoided the sweet treat.  However, mice that had previously been starved, before being allowed to eat their way back up their normal weight, resisted this conditioning – continuing to seek out chocolate despite the painful consequences.

This is an index of compulsive behavior and the researchers claim that this matches compulsive food seeking in the face of negative consequences in humans.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emanuele Claudio Latagliata, Enrico Patrono, Stefano Puglisi-Allegra and Rossella Ventura. Food seeking in spite of harmful consequences is under prefrontal cortical noradrenergic control. BMC Neuroscience, 2010 11:15 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2202-11-15

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BioMed Central Limited. "Chocoholic mice fear no pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208144848.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2010, February 11). Chocoholic mice fear no pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208144848.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Chocoholic mice fear no pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208144848.htm (accessed August 3, 2015).

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