BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Food addiction brain research. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans identifying an area of the brain (the dorsal striatum, yellow/red). This area, previously unstudied, is here shown to have low levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that is released by food stimulation. In this case, only the sight, smell and taste of food were used. The drug methylphenidate (Ritalin) blocks dopamine reabsorption, allowing the low dopamine levels to be observed. This is seen at lower right, where a weaker radioisotope signal (no red) is caused by increased amounts of dopamine binding to receptors in the brain instead of the radioisotope.
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