Please join Bilkent University’s Psychology Department on Thursday for the visit of Dr Maria Veldhuizen.
Speaker: Maria Veldhuizen, Mersin University
“The role of metabolism in the development of flavor preferences”
Date: Thursday, 24 November 2022
Room: A 130 FEASS Seminar room
Food cues previously paired with calories become liked and facilitate the identification of reliable energy sources. Post-oral signals related to nutrient metabolism are thought to be the primary drivers of this reinforcement, however, the identity of the physiological signals regulating this remain unknown. In a series of experiments in human participants, we examine the relative roles of caloric load and perceived sweetness in driving metabolic, perceptual, gastric and brain responses to beverages. We demonstrate a non-linear association between caloric load, metabolic response and flavor preference development, which is driven in part by the extent to which sweetness is proportional to caloric load. Consequently, lower-calorie beverages in which sweetness is matched to caloric load may produce greater metabolic response and become more reinforcing than higher-calorie mismatched beverages. These findings indicate that post-oral metabolic signals, and not caloric load, drive carbohydrate reward and that sweet taste regulates the generation of these signals.
About the speaker:
Maria Veldhuizen trained in psychophysics and neuroimaging of taste, smell and flavor perception during her PhD with Dr. Jan Kroeze at Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and post-doctoral fellowships with Dr. Dana Small and Dr. Lawrence Marks at The John B. Pierce Laboratory and Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven (USA). Now she uses neuro-modulation, physiology and causal brain network modeling to study mechanisms of food preference formation and overeating. In 2019 Maria joined Mersin University as a visiting research scientist and received a grant to optimize and test the effectiveness of stimulation of gut-brain communication via the vagus nerve as an intervention in obesity.