Taste – Flavor – Senses – Brain

How the human mind processes food & scents

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

I am a psychologist with almost 20 years of research experience in academia and industry. 


My research has been largely at the intersection between psychology, neuroscience, and nutrition. It focused on understanding how the human mind processes food. I ask how different senses contribute to the experience of food, how taste is shaped by experience and external cues, and how we can influence taste and boost acceptance to foster healthy eating behavior. In recent years, I research the postive effects of fragrances; how they boost wellbeing. 


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

Education & Work experience

Follow me





2018 - 2021

2016 - 2017

2012 - 2017

2011 - 2012

2007 - 2010



Head of Perception & Cognitive Neuroscience, dsm-firmenich, Geneva

Affiliate Professor, Dept. of Food Science, Pennsylvania State University

Privatdozentin, Dept. of Psychology, Münster University

Lecturer, University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg

Research group leader, Research Center Jülich

Professor of General Psychology, Medical School Berlin

Research group leader, Deut. Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam

Postdoc, Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia

Postdoc, Nestlè Research Center, Lausanne

Dr. rer. nat. in Psychology, Leipzig University 

Diploma in Psychology, University Magdeburg


The loss of smell and of taste occurs often 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 happens and how we can train our noses. We currently do not run any more studies.

Honors & Awards

2021  IFF Award for Research in the Psychophysics of Human Taste and Smell. AChemS.

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

2017 Ajinomoto Award for Young Investigators in Gustation. AChemS.

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.