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Nutritional Neuroscience Laboratory

Our research investigates how the brain regulates feeding behavior and body weight and how diet and exercise affect the brain and behavior.

Our lab uses rodent models to investigate:

  1. The neurobiological regulation of feeding behavior. Types of feeding behavior that we are interested in include:
    • Food impulsivity
    • Binge eating
    • Food overconsumption
    • Conditioned and contextual feeding
    • Motivated responding for food
    • Social transmission of food preference
  2. The neural regulation of energy balance, specifically:
    • How the body communicates with the brain to relay signals related to nutritional/energy status
    • How the brain coordinates a physiological response to maintain weight balance and meet nutritional needs
    • The role of the brain in the development and maintenance of weight gain and obesity.
  3. Effects of diet and exercise on brain function:
    • Obesogenic diets that are high in saturated fat and sugar negatively impact hippocampal dependent learning and memory while exercise attenuates impairments. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which diet and exercise impact the brain and brain function.

Dr. Noble’s Publications

Recent Awards

Rolls-Simons Travel Award from The Obesity Society (2019) – Emily Noble

Early Career Grant Challenge Award from The Obesity Society (2017) – Emily Noble

Harry R. Kissileff Award from the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (2017) – Emily Noble

Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award from The Obesity Society (2017) – Emily Noble

View All Foods and Nutrition Awards

Our Current Research Projects

  • Title: Melanin Concentrating Hormone and the Neural Regulation of Feeding

    Key Personnel: Emily Noble, PhD (PI), Zhuo Wang, PhD (USC), Daniel Holschneider, MD (USC), Scott Kanoski PhD (USC)

    Project description: This research investigates the neural systems that lead to excessive feeding behavior and food impulsivity. Specifically, this research focuses on identifying the mechanisms through which the neuropeptide, melanin-concentrating hormone, promotes excessive food intake.

    Funding Source: NIH K01 Career Development Award KDK118000

  • Title: Effects of diet and exercise on brain glycogen and body weight regulation

    Key Personnel: Emily Noble, PhD (PI), (now hiring!)

    Project description: The brain is a glycogen storage tissue, and much like muscle and liver, brain glycogen metabolism may be affects by diet and exercise. The goal of this project is to investigate how diet and exercise impact brain glycogen metabolism and the role of brain glycogen metabolism on energy homeostasis and neurocognitive function.

    Funding Source: UGA start-up funds, TBD

Meet the Staff

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