Firmenich (Geneva) has announced that the winner of the Firmenich Flavor and Fragrance Science Award 2007 is Dana Small (The John B. Pierce Laboratory). Using several imaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imagery, with psychophysical and psychological experiments, Small has revealed how the brain binds the multiple sensory inputs of various foods in a synergistic manner. She posits that the activation due to a complete flavor is more important than the summated individual contributions of separately experienced aroma and taste components.
In her current position as assistant fellow, Small is investigating how sensory processing interacts with behavioral choices such as decisions to eat or stop eating in healthy individuals and in people with eating disorders. In addition, her new research aim is to examine similarities and differences in the neural representation of food and drug reward to answer questions such as how nicotine addiction may influence the ability of food odors to induce eating.