Over the past few years, scientific interest in the gut–brain axis (i.e., the bidirectional communication system between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain) has exploded, mostly due to the identification of the gut microbiota as a novel key player in this communication. However, important progress has also been made in other aspects of gut–brain axis research, which has been relatively underemphasized in the review literature. Therefore, in this review, we provide a comprehensive, although not exhaustive, overview of recent research on the functional neuroanatomy of the gut– brain axis and its relevance toward the multidisciplinary field of health neuroscience, excluding studies on the role of the gut microbiota. More specifically, we first focus on irritable bowel syndrome, after which we outline recent findings on the role of the gut–brain axis in appetite and feeding regulation, primarily focusing on the impact of subliminal nutrient-related gut–brain signals. We conclude by providing future perspectives to facilitate translation of the findings from gut–brain axis neuroscientific research to clinical applications in these domains.
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