American Museum of Natural History’s Sackler Brain Bench: Why We Eat What We Eat

04/15/13 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The American Museum of Natural History

200 Central Park West Map


40.00 per session

Official Web Site

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The American Museum of Natural History presents the Sackler Brain Bench: Why We Eat What We Eat, an intimate, conversational, salon-style series, where participants explore the science, psychology, and social norms that shape their food choices. The four-session program, with each session led by different experts, helps attendees examine concepts in an open forum that includes taste tests and exclusive after-hours tours of the Our Global Kitchen exhibition. Participants will come away with a better understanding of what drives the decisions they make about the food they eat. Wine and light snacks will be served at each session. • April 15: Renowned pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel, of two Michelin-star Cyrus, in Northern California, and formerly of Bouley Bakery, el Bulli, Bouchon, and Pierre Herme, and neuroscientist Moran Cerf, Ph.D., of New York University and the California Institute of Technology, lead a discussion about how personal expectations of taste shape our food choices. The program includes tastings and a visit to the Our Global Kitchen exhibition. Topics to be discussed include tricks of the mind and tongue, how a restaurant server can influence decision making, and how restaurant ambiance and environment affect eating enjoyment. • April 22: Neuroscientist Joy Hirsch, Ph.D., of Columbia University discusses recent findings and new insights related to obesity and weight loss based on brain-imaging research. • April 29: Neuroscientist Stuart Firestein, Ph.D., and sociologist Priscilla Ferguson, Ph.D., converse about what our food choices can tell us about the brain and society. Themes to be discussed include the distinction between taste and flavor; the causes of food fears and aversions—nature, nurture, or both?—as well as the biology and sociology of food memories, and why some memories remain strong even decades after the foods were first encountered. • May 6: Drew Ramsey, MD, of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and Amy Bentley, Ph.D., of the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at NYU discuss the societal and health implications of food choices.

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