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Behavioral analyses of taste function and ingestion in rodent models

Spector, Alan C.
Physiology & behavior 2015 v.152 pp. 516-526
animal models, brain, ingestion, psychology, students, taste, Florida, Pennsylvania
In 1975, at the start of my junior year in college, I took a course on experimental methods in psychology from Dr. James C. Smith, when he was a Visiting Professor at Penn State University. That experience set me on the professional path of studying the neural bases of taste function and ingestion on which I remain to this day. Along the way, I did my graduate work at Florida State University under the tutelage of Jim, I did my postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of Harvey Grill, and I also worked closely with Ralph Norgren, who was at the Penn State Medical College. This article briefly summarizes some of the lessons I learned from my mentors and highlights a few key research findings arising from my privilege of working with gifted students and postdocs. After close to 40years of being a student of the gustatory system and ingestive behavior, it is still with the greatest conviction that I believe rigorous analysis of behavior is indispensable to any effort seeking to understand brain function.