UK HealthCare

Neurogastronomy Symposium Registration Now Open


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2016) — Register now for the second annual International Society of Neurogastronomy (ISN) Symposium which will explore the concept of brain and behavior in the context of food being held at the University of Kentucky on Dec. 10.

Among the speakers is nationally-renowned pastry chef Taria Camerino, featured on an episode of The Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern. Camerino is a gastoral synaesthete who literally "tastes the rainbow."  In fact, she experiences all five senses as taste. "It's like being a pianist with four hands," said UK neuropsychologist and ISN co-founder Dan Han.  

Also scheduled to speak are:

Rachel Laudan, PhD, author of Cuisine & Empire: "How has our understanding of taste evolved on the grand scale throughout human history?"

Dr. Gordon Shepherd, Yale University, the father of Neurogastronomy: "The evolution of the neural mechanisms relevant to neurogastronomy."

Julie Menella, PhD, Monell Chemical Senses Center: "The role of early experiences on food and flavor preferences and growth, and the effects of alcohol and tobacco on women’s health and infant development."

Gary Beauchamp, Monell Chemical Senses Center: "The development of human chemosensory perception and preference and adult human flavor perception."

Ivan De Araujo, Yale University: "Sugars and their ability to trigger reward circuitry in the brain."

Kelly Weber, University of Kentucky: "Food addiction, measurement and rates in current U.S. population."

Barry Green, Yale University: "Human taste, flavor, and chemesthesis and the relation of these sensitivities both to current theories of sensory mechanisms and to their roles in driving the consumption of foods."

The term "neurogastronomy" was coined by Dr. Gordon Shepherd, professor of neurobiology at Yale University — first in 2006 in an article in Nature and six years later in an eponymous book. While Dr. Shepherd has been interested in the concept from a research perspective, Han and a group of neuroscientists, chefs and food scientists are enthusiastic about making it a clinical translational science with applications in cancer, stroke and brain injury (which can destroy the sense of taste) and also apply the concept to battle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The day's format differs from the typical symposium, featuring brief presentations modeled after the popular TED talks and punctuated with breaks for tastings and a contest where the food from regional and national chefs will be judged by patients with taste impairments.

For more information about the symposium and how to register, click here.

Media Contact: Laura Dawahare,, (859) 257-5307

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