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Hungry Like a Fly: Neuroscience & Eating

Summary: Humans are like fruit flies neurologically, only a bit more complex.
Air Date: 4/13/16
Duration: 10 Minutes
Host: Dr. Mike Fenster
Guest Bio: Michael Kavanaugh, PhD
Dr.-Michael-KavanaughAfter completing undergraduate work in Biology at Washington University in St. Louis in 1982, Michael Kavanaugh received his Ph.D. from the Oregon Health Sciences University in 1987. He pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the Vollum Institute at OHSU and joined the Vollum faculty in 1993. Kavanaugh joined the University of Montana in January 2003, where he directs the Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience. He teaches graduate and undergraduate neuroscience students, and runs an NIH-funded research program focused on neurotransmitter transporters, synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. He is also involved in K-12 education in neuroscience.
Hungry Like a Fly: Neuroscience & Eating
Neuroscientists are concerned with the structural and functional mechanisms in the brain. The nervous system is crucial for our evolution.

The common fruit fly is a great model organism in neuroscience, and a great deal of what is known about how the brain works comes from studies of the fruit fly.

Single cell organisms have primitive forms of taste receptors to find food. These receptors are found in the human palate in a more developed state. We have the primal need to consume energy to survive. Some of the sensory information from what we smell and taste goes to our limbic system, reaching our primal center. 

Listen in as Dr. Michael Kavanaugh joins Dr. Mike at University of Montana Innovators and Trailblazers Symposium to discuss the basics of neuroscience and food.

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