Stuart McCaughey, PhD
What we choose to eat has a major impact on our health. For example, the risk of nearly all major diseases has been linked to ingestion of particular nutrients. My primary goal is to explore how the sense of taste guides feeding behavior. I have pursued this interest primarily by measuring intake of food and solutions in rats and mice, and by relating their behavioral preferences to the activity of taste-responsive neurons in the brain and peripheral nerves. I am especially interested in how genes related to sugar preferences affect the responses evoked by sugars in the brains of mice. Another area of interest is how taste perception affects consumption of minerals, such as calcium and sodium. I have also conducted research for a pet food flavoring company, in order to understand why pyrophosphate compounds serve as flavor enhancers.
Tordoff MG, Shao H, Alarcón LK, Margolskee RF, Mosinger B, Bachmanov AA, Reed DR, McCaughey S. Involvement of T1R3 in calcium-magnesium taste. Physiol Genom 34(3): 338-48, 2008. Abstract: Full Text PDF
McCaughey SA, Forestell CA, Tordoff MG Calcium deprivation increases the palatability of calcium solutions in rats. Physiol Behav 84: 335-42, 2005. Abstract