This lecture is hosted by the Oxford Martin Programme on Mind and Machine and The Centre for Neural Circuts and Behaviour, University of Oxford
Speaker: Professor Kristin Scott, Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development, Division of Neurobiology, University of California
Summary: The ability to identify nutrient-rich food and avoid toxic substances is essential for an animal's survival. Although olfaction and vision contribute to food detection, the gustatory system acts as a final checkpoint for food acceptance or rejection. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster tastes many of the same stimuli as mammals and provides an excellent model system for comparative studies of taste detection. We have utilized a combination of molecular, behavioural, and calcium imaging studies to determine the taste ligands of different gustatory neurons and understand how taste information is processed in the higher brain. More recently, we have begun to examine how hunger, satiety and learning influence activity in taste circuits and regulate feeding decisions. These studies provide insight into how taste compounds are detected and processed by the brain.
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About the Speaker
Kristin Scott completed her PhD in Biology at the University of California in San Diego and went on to become a postdoctoral fellow in Richard Axel’s group at Columbia University. She started her group in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at the University of California at Berkeley in 2003 and in 2009 became a HHMI Early Career Scientist before becoming a full Professor in 2012.