The Fifth International Conference on Neuroesthetics: Flavors of Experience at UC Berkeley:
How do chocolate, Champagne, and Chanel No. 5 elicit such intense reactions and create long-term memories? Such an understanding can guide scientists in their research of how pleasure centers and the memory system in the brain are connected. Likewise, chefs, vintners and perfumers can learn from scientists how our brains respond to their products. At "Flavors of Experience," the Fifth International Conference on Neuroesthetics, internationally renowned scientists and artists will discuss the brain's responses to such things as gourmet food, fine wine and aromatic perfumes. Speakers include Yale University's Dana M. Small, an expert in how the brain processes flavor, and San Francisco Zen Center's Ed Epse Brown, a priest, cook and author.
The conference, which is sponsored by the Berkeley-based Minerva Foundation and the Institute of Neuroesthetics in London, is free and open to the public. Registration is required to guarantee priority seating; visit the website or call (510) 847-2191.
Note to self: check http://www.berkeley.edu/calendar more often. They have a lot of interesting things going on, often for free.