Primary Author

Alicia Mendoza

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Macpherson


The Macpherson Lab aims to understand the many aspects of taste function. This is currently being done by experiments conducted with mice. Their behavior is being observed and recorded. We present the laboratory mice with different tastants such as quinine (bitterness) and sucrose (sweetness). It has been noted that a combination of these two tastants will affect the mice’s behavior and lead to a decline of lick responses. This experiment has not yet been conducted with the other tastants and poses more questions such as: When will their behavior change towards things they like and don’t like? Will they change due to learning and acclimatization to different stimuli? The results of what we find can be used for analyses of human behavior and determine what we should and shouldn’t eat. People’s sense of taste varies and perhaps one’s detection of bitterness is not acute. Taste is important and determines our perception of different foods. Could I start liking vegetables more? What would happen if I mixed sweetness and savory? Humans detect these different tastants to determine what is good to eat. Many experience an aversion to bitter foods but some of these foods are actually good and healthy to consume.


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