Food-anticipatory activity: Rat models and underlying mechanisms

Roger A.H. Adan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In Western societies, the prevalence of obesity continues to increase, and hence, the need to unravel pathways and mechanisms that regulate (un)healthy food intake increases concurrently. This chapter focuses on animal models of food-anticipatory activity (FAA). In rats, FAA occurs when they have time-restricted access to food or a palatable snack. It includes increased locomotor activity and arousal prior to food access. These models can be used to shed more light on research questions, like “What happens in the brain when we think about food?” Three animal models of FAA will be discussed, namely, the activity-based anorexia model, a restricted feeding schedule model, and a palatable feeding schedule model. Descriptions of how these models are run in our lab will be provided. In addition, the potential mechanisms underlying FAA, with a special focus on leptin, dopamine, and ghrelin signaling, will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnimal Models of Eating Disorders
EditorsNicole M. Avena
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-0716-0924-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-0716-0923-1, 978-1-0716-0926-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0893-2336
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6045


  • Activity-based anorexia
  • Dopamine
  • Food-anticipatory activity
  • Ghrelin
  • Leptin


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