Justus V. Verhagen

Yale University, USA


Justus V. Verhagen got his M.S. degree from the Department of Biology at the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; completed an Internship in nitric oxide scavenging properties of wines and tea components at the Free University of Amsterdam under Guido R.M.M. Haenen. Justus; obtained his Ph.D. degree in neuroscience from the Department of Psychology, University of Delaware, Newark, Del, USA, under mentorship of Dr. Thomas R. Scott, researching taste-temperature coding in the thalamic taste nucleus in rats. In Oxford, UK, under mentorship of Dr. Edmund T. Rolls, Dr. Verhagen did his first postdoctoral research on monkey brain multimodal flavor coding. This was followed by 2 years of Postdoctoral work in Matt Wachowiak's lab at Boston University exploring how active sampling of odors (sniffing) in awake rats affects odor responses in the olfactory bulb. The research focus of Verhagen's Neural Coding & Multimodal Integration of Flavor Lab is to understand both the neural ‘codes’ and the neural integration of the separate sensory inputs that lead to the integrated perception food flavor. Retronasal smell is a critical component of food flavor but little is known about it in model animals. The lab has now established that, like humans, rats smell retronasally, that the olfactory bulb responds to retronasal smells, and that these olfactory bulb responses to retronasal smell vary in predictable ways. Further, like humans, odors can acquire a taste, a flavor phenomenon known as experience-dependent synesthesia.

Biography Updated on 2 November 2012

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