Research & Publications
Dr. Small’s research focuses on chemosensation and ingestive behavior in humans using neuroimaging combined with metabolic, psychophysical and neuropsychological methods. A major focus of her current work is understanding the impact of diet on gut-brain signaling, perception and cognition. Dr. Small has also established a translational - reverse translational program of research through collaborations with colleagues working in mouse models. The Small Lab currently has a fully automated and fMRI compatible olfactometer, gustometer, and indirect calorimeter. The lab is also equipped with a mock scanner, bio-impedance device, phlebotomy suite, three subject testing rooms and a wet lab.
Specialized Terms: Neurophysiology of feeding; Chemical senses; Neuroimaging; Dopamine; Addiction; Motivation; Psychophysics; Stress; Obesity
Extensive Research Description
- The role of central insulin sensitivity on cognition in prediabetes
- Central coding of taste and flavor.
- Physiological mechanisms underlying food choice and ingestive behavior
- The impact of diet, adiposity and metabolic dysfunction on brain structure and function, including mood, cognition and addiction.
- Targeting the gut-brain axis for weight-loss maintenance
- Determining the role of the gut-brain axis in alcohol dependence
- Understanding the mechanisms underlying dopamine adaptations in response to diet, adiposity and metabolic dysfunction.
Dopamine; Energy Metabolism; Motivation; Neurophysiology; Obesity; Psychophysics; Stress, Psychological; Neuroimaging; Psychiatry and Psychology; Food Addiction