Title: “The brain on food: neuronal mechanisms of food perception” by Dr. Kathrin Ohla, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Date: Thursday, April 21st
Location C-Block Auditorium
Thirst and hunger warrant the supply with fluids and nutrients and ensure the highest performance of the body and mind. In modern societies, however, the main purpose of eating has long shifted away from the maintenance of homeostatic needs. Researchers partially attribute rising obesity rates and problems in eating-related self-regulation to the omnipresence of (often palatable and energy-rich) food which seem available wherever we go. What characterizes food and makes it so tempting? Sensory and hedonic information about food is conveyed by all senses, which are activated more or less simultaneously, having led to the notion that food perception is a multisensory experience. I will present data to demonstrate the brain mechanisms from anticipatory (viewing and smelling) and consummatory (tasting) phases of food perception and provide examples of how cue-based expectations and experience impact food perception and neuronal processing.