Gut instinct? It’s sat-nav to help find food
GUT instinct may amount to more than just a hunch or feeling, say scientists.
Our stomachs can help play a vital role in seeking out food, the researchers have found.
The body’s biggest nerve, the vagus, runs from the stomach to the brain and it has long been known that it signals to us when we are hungry.
But University of Southern California scientists suggest this has evolved to be a form of sat-nav. This ‘gut-brain axis’ may help animals and humans remember where they ate by directing signals to the hippocampus, the brain’s memory centre.
Researcher Scott Kanoski said studies of rats show the stomach has an important role in helping us find our way around. He said: ‘When animals find and eat a meal, for instance, the vagus nerve is activated and this global positioning system is engaged.’