Advances in the neurobiological bases for food 'liking' versus 'wanting'

D. C. Castro, K. C. Berridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


The neural basis of food sensory pleasure has become an increasingly studied topic in neuroscience and psychology. Progress has been aided by the discovery of localized brain subregions called hedonic hotspots in the early 2000s, which are able to causally amplify positive affective reactions to palatable tastes ('liking') in response to particular neurochemical or neurobiological stimulations. Those hedonic mechanisms are at least partly distinct from larger mesocorticolimbic circuitry that generates the incentive motivation to eat ('wanting'). In this review, we aim to describe findings on these brain hedonic hotspots, especially in the nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum, and discuss their role in generating food pleasure and appetite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Hedonic hotspot
  • Motivation
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Optogenetics
  • Parabrachial nucleus
  • Pleasure
  • Reward
  • Ventral pallidum


Dive into the research topics of 'Advances in the neurobiological bases for food 'liking' versus 'wanting''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this