Food - Drink
Scientists Say This Is Why We Love Looking At Delicious Food Pics
By SYLVIA TOMCZAK
Whether it's pretty pastries, ooey-gooey pasta bakes, or glistening steaks, one pastime that never seems to get old is looking at pictures of food. Admiring food photography has become a collective obsession, and scientists may have discovered why just looking at beautiful pictures of food can have a significant positive impact on our mood.
Our gut microbes can produce mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin when we eat tasty food, but what about when we're only looking at food? Brain & Cognition reports that evolution has led us to use visual clues to determine food quality; in other words, aesthetics are instrumental in how we enjoy and experience food, even if we aren’t eating it.
MIT researchers have also discovered neurons in the brain that are exclusively stimulated by images of food, in the same way that other neurons respond to images of faces and words. Though more research is always needed, we do know one more interesting tidbit: photos of cooked or processed foods evoke stronger responses than raw foods, says Bon Appétit.