Affected connectivity organization of the reward system structure in obesity

I. Marqués-Iturria, L. H. Scholtens, M. Garolera, R. Pueyo, I. García-García, P. González-Tartiere, B. Segura, C. Junqué, M. J. Sender-Palacios, M. Vernet-Vernet, C. Sánchez-Garre, M. A. de Reus, M. A. Jurado*, M. P. van den Heuvel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


With the prevalence of obesity rapidly increasing worldwide, understanding the processes leading to excessive eating behavior becomes increasingly important. Considering the widely recognized crucial role of reward processes in food intake, we examined the white matter wiring and integrity of the anatomical reward network in obesity. Anatomical wiring of the reward network was reconstructed derived from diffusion weighted imaging in 31 obese participants and 32 normal-weight participants. Network wiring was compared in terms of the white matter volume as well as in terms of white matter microstructure, revealing lower number of streamlines and lower fiber integrity within the reward network in obese subjects. Specifically, the orbitofrontal cortex and striatum nuclei including accumbens, caudate and putamen showed lower strength and network clustering in the obesity group as compared to healthy controls. Our results provide evidence for obesity-related disruptions of global and local anatomical connectivity of the reward circuitry in regions that are key in the reinforcing mechanisms of eating-behavior processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-106
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Body mass index
  • Diffusion imaging
  • Eating
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Orbitofrontal cortex
  • Striatum


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