Feeding Center

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Feeding Center


the group of brain structures that regulate the initial stages of digestion and the choice and consumption of food. These processes include searching for, examining, and accepting or rejecting food. The concept of a feeding center was introduced by I. P. Pavlov.

By integrating external and internal signals, the feeding center regulates the quantity of foodstuffs that enters the body in accordance with the body’s requirements for energy and structural elements. The constituent parts of the feeding center are found along different levels of the central nervous system. Among the subcortical structures of the feeding center, certain portions of the hypothalamus play a special role. Injury to the lateral hypothalamus, which is the hunger center, results in food rejection and exhaustion; and injury to the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus, where the satiety center is situated, causes an increase in food consumption and obesity. Specific reactions to food and the alternation of hunger and satiety are controlled by the hypothalamic portion of the feeding center, which acts in response to the products of carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism, as well as to biologically active substances and hormones.

The functional condition of the hypothalamic portions of the feeding center is also dependent on information from various peripheral receptors throughout the body. Alimentary activity is also regulated by other subcortical structures. Complex unconditioned and conditioned reflexes that are related to feeding arise in the portions of the food center, which are located in the cerebral cortex.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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