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The science of taste

  • Franky Bradley's 1320 Chancellor Street Philadelphia, PA, 19107 United States (map)

Meet the Speakers

 
Julie A. Mennella is a PhD scientist who investigates the science of flavor and child development

Julie A. Mennella is a PhD scientist who investigates the science of flavor and child development

The taste of childhood

Long before their first taste of food, human babies already prefer certain tastes to others. While some of these inclinations are biologically hardwired through a combination of genetics and evolution, our flavor preferences are shaped by our environments, particularly the diets of our mothers. Science is showing how the flavors of the diet of mothers transmits to and flavors amniotic fluid and mother’s milk, and how these early experiences go on to shape what is a preferred flavor.

 

Why you’re going to eat junk food after that beer: The role of limbic neuropeptides in intake of ethanol and palatable food

After we’ve had a few drinks, why do we eat junk food, instead of going for healthier options? One reason is that some molecules in the emotional parts of our brain interact with alcohol, dietary fat, and sugars as if they are the same substance and, evolutionarily, we have needed to eat a lot of high calorie foods in order to store energy. My research focuses on these molecules, called neuropeptides, and how they act in the hypothalamus and thalamus to make us eat and drink more than we should.

Jessica R. Barson, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Jessica R. Barson, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Earlier Event: March 26
Science After Hours
Later Event: April 23
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