insular cortex & anorexia
2/7/2012 9:15:08 AM
When reading Ray Kurzweil's book, The Singularity is Near, in which he discusses recent activity in brain mapping among other things, I realized right away that the insular cortex & spindle cells might be implicated in anorexia. This paper seems to have it the wrong way around though.
Not all anorexia sufferers dislike the taste of food. Almost universal though is their belief that they're disgusting becuase they think they're fat. I believe it's more likely that since the spindle cells & the insular cortex are the non rational emotional brain overlying the rational brain, that the body self image (also controlled in the insular cortex) is telling another part of the insular cortex that food must not taste good. This would partly explain that although anorexia has been around for thousands of years long before this was in, current media emphasis on weight/fat has fed into the increase in anorexia.
There are numerous studies showing that a shocking percentage of preteens are already obsessed with fat & how they look & think they're too fat! Considering that eating, sleeping, & excreting are hardwired into the animal, there has to be something pretty powerful goinf on to turn that eating switch off. Teen age girls seem to be the predominant victims of anorexia. Could it be some interaction with some female hormones or enzymes that turn that switch in the spindle cells or the insular cortex!?