Thank you, Stephanie Pappas from LiveScience!
“The study performed cannot determine whether Oreos are as addictive as cocaine,” said Edythe London, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, who uses brain imaging to study the neural basis of drug cravings. “That question is best addressed in a comparison of how hard a rat will work for Oreos versus cocaine — how many times a rat will press a lever to get one or the other.”
The students also measured the expression of a protein called c-Fos, which indicates brain cell activity, in the nucleus accumbens of rats exposed to Oreos or cocaine. This brain region is important for pleasure and positive reinforcement and is involved in addiction because of the pleasurable feelings brought on by drugs.
The rats’ nucleus accumbens activated more strongly with the stimulus of Oreos than the stimulus of cocaine, but those findings don’t prove anything about the addictive potential of the cookies, either, London told LiveScience.
The study is “consistent with the fact that Oreos produce pleasure — but we knew that,” London said.
- Oreos may be as addictive as cocaine and heroin (theweek.com)
- Addicted to Oreos? You truly might be (today.com)
- Oreos and Cocaine: Study Says They’re the Same (guardianlv.com)
- Oreos may be as addictive as cocaine, morphine (cbsnews.com)
- Why Your Brain Treats Oreos Like A Drug (forbes.com)
- Oreos As Addictive as Cocaine? Not So Fast (livescience.com)