From Science Daily:

You’ve heard that romance starts in the kitchen and not in the bedroom. Well, researchers at Drexel University finally have the science to support that saying — but not the way you might think.

In a new study published online in the journal Appetite, researchers found that women’s brains respond more to romantic cues on a full stomach than an empty one. The study explored brain circuitry in hungry versus satiated states among women who were past-dieters and those who had never dieted.

The study’s first author Alice Ely, PhD, completed the research while pursuing a doctoral degree at Drexel, and is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research, part of the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Michael R. Lowe, PhD, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University, was senior author.

“We found that young women both with and without a history of dieting had greater brain activation in response to romantic pictures in reward-related neural regions after having eaten than when hungry,” said Ely.

Ely said the results are contrary to several previous studies, which showed that people typically demonstrate greater sensitivity to rewarding stimuli when hungry. Such stimuli may include things like food, money and drugs.

“In this case, they were more responsive when fed,” she said. “This data suggests that eating may prime or sensitize young women to rewards beyond food. It also supports a shared neurocircuitry for food and sex.”

The latest finding,…

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