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Physiol Behav. 2005 Sep 15;86(1-2):5-8.

Too much of a good thing: neurobiology of non-homeostatic eating and drug abuse.

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  • 1The Pennsylvania State University, College of Health and Human Development, Nutritional Sciences Department, University Park, 16802, USA. rxc13@psu.edu


In this paper, a framework involving four aspects to be considered when establishing an operational definition of non-homeostatic appetitive behavior is presented. The four aspects are (1) the quantity of the commodity consumed, (2) the quality or type of commodity consumed, (3) the context in which the behavior occurs, and (4) the specific kind of behavior that is directed toward obtaining and consuming the commodity of interest. This framework permits comparisons among a variety of non-homeostatic behaviors and accommodates different theoretical approaches reflected in the use of mechanistic, systems, behavioral, nutritional, and clinical experimental strategies. The speakers of this symposium were selected to emphasize the four aspects of non-homeostatic behavior, to represent several different approaches, and to facilitate discussion regarding neural similarities and differences between non-homeostatic eating and drug abuse. The various talks illustrated that boundaries need not exist among research fields, and that communication among the various areas enhances the research effort.

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