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Exploring the Science of Taste at Annual Mind/Brain Lecture, April 4

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cakeThe 24th annual Swartz Foundation Mind/Brain Lecture features Donald Katz, a pioneer in the study of the neuroscience of taste. Katz, a professor of psychology at Brandeis University’s Volen National Center for Complex Systems, will discuss “Constructing the World of Taste in Your Head,” on Monday, April 4, at 4 pm, in the Staller Center for the Arts. The lecture will also be livestreamed at

Donald Katz
Donald Katz

You fork the morsel into your mouth and say “yum … chocolate cake.” No fuss, no muss; the appreciation of your dessert’s taste seems to follow quickly after the food is placed on your tongue. The truth, however, is far more complex: your brain actually begins determining whether you will enjoy that bite even before the fork nears your mouth. Information about the food’s color, smell, texture and taste activates multiple parts of your brain, where that information collides with your pre-mouthful beliefs about how it should taste and helps you decide if that morsel is worth swallowing. Referring to work from psychology, biology and computational neuroscience, Katz will de-mystify and reveal the beauty of these complexities of the neuroscience of taste.

This free presentation is intended for a general audience.

The Mind/Brain Lecture Series is hosted by Stony Brook’s Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and is supported by the Swartz Foundation, which launched the lecture series at Stony Brook University in 1997 to acquaint the campus and the public with current thoughts on brain research. 

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