Gut feelings in action

The vagus nerve, the longest nerve in the human body, connects the brain with the gut. We recently discovered that the vagus nerve forms a sensory neural circuit with enteroendocrine cells.

This circuit provides the opportunity to determine how stimuli from food and gut microbes may alter basic brain behaviors, such as eating or mood.

We are bioengineering devices and using intravital imaging techniques to visualize the function of this neural circuit in the living animal. The findings would be a scientific platform to understand how nutrients in the gut modulate the desire to eat in the brain.