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 2021


2018 - 2021

2016 - 2017

2012 - 2017


2011 - 2012

2007 - 2010

2005 - 2007


Director, Human Perception & Bioresponse, Firmenich SA, Geneva

Lecturer, University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg

Research group leader, Research Center Jülich

Professor of General Psychology, Medical School Berlin

Research group leader, Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

Researcher, Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia

Researcher, Nestlè Research Center, Lausanne

PhD student, 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 use this as a screening tool for COVID-19. We are conducting 3 online 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.