In previous posts in this series, I explained that the brain (primarily the mesolimbic system) integrates various factors to decide whether or not to drive food seeking and consumption behaviors. These include homeostatic factors such as hunger, and non-homeostatic factors such as palatability and the social environment.
In this post, I'll examine the reward system more closely. This is the system that governs the motivation for food, and behavioral reinforcement (a form of learning). It does this by receiving information from other parts of the brain that it uses to determine if it's appropriate to drive (motivate) food seeking behavior. I covered its role in motivation in the first post of the series, so in this post I'll address reinforcement.
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