Visual input alters hormonal regulation of our eating behavior

External stimuli control the hormonal regulation of our eating behavior

Max Planck researchers have proven something scientifically for the first time that laypeople have always known: the mere sight of delicious food stimulates the appetite. A study on healthy young men has documented that the amount of the neurosecretory protein hormone ghrelin in the blood increases as a result of visual stimulation through images of food. As a main regulator, ghrelin controls both eating behaviour and the physical processes involved in food metabolism. These results show that, in addition to the physiological mechanisms for maintaining the body’s energy status, environmental factors also have a specific influence on food consumption. Thus, the pervasive presence of appetising food in the media could contribute to weight increase in Western populations.

More information: Schüssler P, Kluge M, Yassouridis A, Dresler M, Uhr M, Steiger A. Ghrelin levels increase after pictures showing food Obesity (Silver Spring). 12 January 2012, doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.385 .

My comment: Obviously, the mere sight of an attractive woman could be linked to hormones that also change with arousal in healthy young men. As with food, however, there is no direct link from a visual stimulus to hormones and behavior. The hormone changes must first be conditioned to occur via the odors of the food, or via the social odors /pheromones of the woman. This conditioning of hormones and behaviors begins before we’re born, and it is not directly linked to visual input in any species on this planet.  Olfactory/pheromonal input causes the genetically predisposed response .

About James V. Kohl 1307 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society