A Taste of Neuroscience at the MSU Science Festival

March 22, 2023 - Jenna Lee

Pictured: Dr. Alex Johnson, Nathan Pence (lab manager), Dr. Jenna Lee (post-doc), and Lauren Raycraft (Ph.D. student)

Pictured: Dr. Alex Johnson, Nathan Pence (lab manager), Dr. Jenna Lee (post-doc), and Lauren Raycraft (Ph.D. student) 

 The 11th annual MSU Science Festival, a celebration of science, kicks off April 1 & 2 with STEAM Expo Days.  This free event encourages community members of all ages to engage in scientific wonder across a variety of disciplines of science. This will include representation from MSU Social Sciences, discussing topics of Psychology.   

During STEAM Expo Days on April 2nd, you can engage with “A Taste of Neuroscience” and discover how the brain and body interact to influence our eating behaviors. Members from the Johnson Behavioral Neuroscience Lab of the Department of Psychology combine principles of learning and memory with sophisticated neuroscience to explore questions about eating behaviors and metabolism.   

“In our modern society, many individuals struggle to regulate what we eat, which can lead to obesity and associated comorbidities. As psychologists, it is important that we share and communicate the significance of our research,” said Professor Alex Johnson. “The MSU Science Festival is an ideal forum to do this; we’re excited to talk to the community about how the taste system works and its importance in influencing our dietary habits.” 

Along with Dr. Alex Johnson, Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Jenna Lee and Graduate Student Lauren Raycraft will demonstrate how complex the relationship between the brain and body is when it comes to eating. For instance, how our “tricky taste buds” can deceive our perception of sweet taste!  

The Johnson Lab will be at STEAM Expo Days on April 2nd at MSU STEAM Building from 10:00-4:00 pm. For more information and to check out other hands-on activities and presentations, check out STEAM EXPO Schedule.