Hankerings for certain foods are not linked to any obvious nutrient insufficiency. But other biological factors appear to be at work.
Researchers have employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore the neural basis of such appetites. The imaging data suggest that when somebody is pining for a certain fare, components of the amygdala, anterior cingulate, orbital frontal cortex, insula, hippocampus, caudate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex are activated in the brain. A network of neural regions may be involved with the emotion, memory and chemosensory stimuli of food yens.
This article was originally published with the title Ask the Brains.