dr. tom scott holding a baby monkeyThomas Scott, Ph.D




Office:  Life Sciences 170
Email: tom.scott@sdsu.edu
Phone: 619-594-5020


Research Interests: The sense of taste is the monitor that determines which chemicals from the external environment are permitted to become part of the tightly controlled biochemical environment within each of us.  It protects us from poisons and goads us to consume the macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and salt.  The manner in which taste detects this variety of chemicals is now reasonably well understood.  We investigate the neural code through which it carries out its subsequent tasks of (1) orchestrating reflexes to reject or to swallow, (2) analyzing the quality and intensity of each chemical, and (3) imbuing this analysis with an emotional tone of pleasure or disgust.  This has taken us from hindbrain to cortex, with the goal of comprehending the taste signal, and determining how that signal drives eating behavior.

Research Keywords: taste, central nervous system, neurophysiology, neural coding, feeding, cortex, brain stem