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Your Brain on Krispy Kreme

A customer orders doughnuts at a Krispy Kreme store in Tokyo's Shinjuku district during a lunch break. Since opening in December, Japan's first Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. store is drawing long lines for an hour long wait, or longer, just to get in. In the first three days, 10,000 people came to the shop. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Vincent Thian
A customer orders doughnuts at a Krispy Kreme store in Tokyo's Shinjuku district during a lunch break. Since opening in December, Japan's first Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. store is drawing long lines for an hour long wait, or longer, just to get in. In the first three days, 10,000 people came to the shop. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

More earth-shattering research news from our nation’s universities! Northwestern U has come out with a study which reveals that--hold your breath!--we are more attracted to food when we are hungry than when we are not. What. A. Breakthrough.

Researchers there used MRIs to prove that, depending on how full you are, different parts of your brain react differently to the sight of food. Most telling, perhaps, is that one part of your brain will stop you from your natural instinct to pig out when you already have a full stomach.

Clearly, that is one part of my brain that’s malfunctioning.

Specifically, the researchers tested people on two different days. The first day, each person ate eight Krispy Kreme doughnuts. On the second day, they fasted for eight hours. Each day they were shown pictures of Krispy Kremes, and their brains reacted differently.

Lo and behold, when they hadn’t eaten for eight hours they reacted MORE STRONGLY TO PICTURES OF FOOD.

Let that sink in for a moment. When you are hungry, you react more strongly to images of food than when you are not hungry. Who knew?

Of course, the people running the research didn’t put it quite so plainly in the press release.

" 'There's a very complex system in the brain that helps to direct our attention to items in our environment that are relevant to our needs, for example, food when we are hungry but not when we are full,' said Aprajita Mohanty, lead author of the paper and a post-doctoral fellow at the Feinberg School (of Medicine).' "

The study was published in the online version of the journal Cerebral Cortex.

FYI, I keep all my Cerebral Cortexes in the same magazine basket where I have Tibia Today and Lower Bowel Monthly.

Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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