Few people see much in common between candy and cocaine, aside from their identical first letters. Not so for Matt Will, Assistant Professor of Psychology. Will’s current research equates our cravings for fatty, high calorie foods with serious drug abuse.
Will describes the fundamental focus of his research, the neurochemical roots of food addiction. His methods involve mimicking a natural process to examine the effects of feel-good chemicals, naturally present in the brain, on the dietary habits of rats.
Another recent project explores how opioids and cannabinoids, two naturally occurring neurochemicals that are mimicked by drugs of abuse, cooperate in the brain to increase appetite. He explains that “studying them both and how they act together in synergistic fashion” is an important step toward understanding how to curtail the negative dietary habits mediated by cannabinoids. â€¨