Our primary research interest is the neurobiology of appetite with particular emphasis on understanding how food intake, food choice and feeding behavior is controlled. One major focus is to determine the effects of endocrine and metabolic signals, such as ghrelin, on brain networks that control food intake, food choice and associated feeding behaviours. These brain networks include pathways involved in energy balance, reward and emotion. We are interested in the role of the gut-brain reward axis in normal physiology and in disease mechanisms that lead to obesity and overeating disorders.
Skibicka KP, Hansson C, Egecioglu E, Dickson SL. Role of ghrelin in food reward: impact of ghrelin on sucrose self-administration and mesolimbic dopamine and acetylcholine receptor gene expression. Addict Biol. 2012 17:95-107.
Skibicka KP, Shirazi RH, Rabasa-Papio C, Alvarez-Crespo M, Neuber C, Vogel H, Dickson SL. Divergent circuitry underlying food reward and intake effects of ghrelin: dopaminergic VTA-accumbens projection mediates ghrelin's effect on food reward but not food intake. Neuropharmacology. 2013 73:274-83.
Egecioglu E, Jerlhag E, Salomé N, Skibicka KP, Haage D, Bohlooly-Y M, Andersson D, Bjursell M, Perrissoud D, Engel JA, Dickson SL. Ghrelin increases intake of rewarding food in rodents. Addict Biol. 2010 15:304-11.