Taste – Flavor – Senses – Brain

How the human mind processes food

Kathrin Ohla Food Scientist Geschmack, Geschmackssinn, schmecken lernen, Farbe beim Essen, Essen mit allen Sinnen,

I am a psychologist with over 15 years of research experience in academica and industry. 


My research is at the intersection between psychology, neuroscience, and nutrition and focuses on understanding how the human mind processes food. I ask how different senses contribute to the experience of taste, how taste is shaped by experience and external cues, and how we can influence taste and boost acceptance to foster healthy eating behavior. 


My expertise is in linking brain measures with behavior and the development of state-of-the art methods required to study this link.

Education & Work experience

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Since 2018

2016 - 2017


2012 - 2017


2011 - 2012

2007 - 2010


2005 - 2007


Research group leader, Research Center Jülich

Professor of General Psychology, Medical School Berlin

Habilitation in Psychology, Humboldt University Berlin 

Research group leader, Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

Researcher, Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia

Researcher, Nestlè Research Center, Lausanne

Dr. rer. nat. (PhD) in Experimental Psychology, Leipzig University

PhD student, Leipzig University 

Diploma in Psychology, University Magdeburg


In response to anecdotal reports of the loss of smell and of taste associated with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), we brought together experts in the Global Consortium of Chemosensory Researchers (GCCR) to study how, when and why this is happening and what it can tell us about the Coronavirus. The GCCR is currently conducting an online study - individuals with COVID-19 or who suspect to have COVID-19 or who have another respiratory illness are welcome to participate.

Honors & Awards

2017 DuPont Nutrition & Health Science Excellence Medal. Danisco Foundation.

2017 Ajinomoto Award for Young Investigators in Gustation. Association of Chemoreception Sciences.

2016 Brain Products Young Scientist Award. German Society for Psychophysiology and its Applications.

2013 Leibniz Mentoring for highly-qualified women researchers. Leibniz Association

2013 Polak Young Investigator Award. Association for Chemoreception Sciences.