When we feel uncomfortable, we tend to eat less, drink less, and exercise less. This is not unique to humans—most animals reduce these three behaviors when fighting infection.
Recently, a new study pinpoints clusters of neurons that control these responses (uncomfortable behavior). By provoking immune responses in mice, the researchers demonstrated that specific cell populations in the brainstem could effectively induce three suggestive uncomfortable behaviors. In addition, inhibition of these neurons attenuates each behavioral element of the uncomfortable response.