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November 30, 2011 Meeting

November 18, 2011

On November 30, Prof. Dana Small, who runs Yale University’s Affective Sensory Neuroscience Laboratory and is also an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and an associate professor of psychology at Yale University, will give a presentation titled The Flavor Modality. In her own words: “When we ‘taste,’ we also touch the food or drink in our mouths and sense its odor via retronasal olfaction. The term flavor describes this multimodal experience. The aim of this lecture will be to describe how the independent sensations of taste, touch and smell converge to create unitary flavor percepts and how, through experience, the brain encodes these ‘flavor objects’ and their associated physiological significance. Psychophysical and neuroimaging data will be presented to support the existence of a binding mechanism, possibly residing in the somatomotor mouth area, that underlies illusory processes that bring taste, touch and smell into a common spatial and temporal field. Activation of this mechanism then allows flavor objects that reside in the insular cortex to become associated with the post-ingestive consequences of feeding, which then drives flavor preference formation.”

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