In the study, 13 men and 10 women were quizzed about their favorite foods and then asked to fast overnight. They were also taught a technique called cognitive inibition to suppress thoughts of hunger and/or eating. The next day they underwent brain scans while implementing the technique and, at the same time, being offered their self-described favorite foods.
Both genders claimed that the inhibition technique decreased their hunger, and the brain scans did indeed show significant decrease in activity in the male brains. Such was not the case, however, in the female brains.
“ Even though the women said they were less hungry when trying to inhibit their response to the food, their brains were still firing away in the regions that control the drive to eat,” Wang said. “There is something going on in the female <brain>. The signal is so much different.”