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22 Sep

Food insecurity has lasting impacts on the brains and behavior of mice

Results suggest young people may suffer long-term consequences, in particular in the area of cognitive flexibility While food insecurity is a problem for a growing segment of the U.S. population -- made even worse by the coronavirus pandemic -- few studies have looked at the effect that feast or famine has on the developing brain in isolation from other factors that contribute to adversity. A new study by neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, simulated the effects of food insecurity in juvenile mice and found lasting changes later in life. "We show that irregular access to food in the late juvenile and early adolescent period affects learning, decision-making and dopamine neurons in adulthood," said Linda Wilbrecht, UC Berkeley professor of psychology and...
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