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ERIC Number: EJ1084590
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
Matters of Taste: Bridging Molecular Physiology and the Humanities
Rangachari, P. K.; Rangachari, Usha
Advances in Physiology Education, v39 n4 p288-294 Dec 2015
Taste perception was the focus of an undergraduate course in the health sciences that bridged the sciences and humanities. A problem-based learning approach was used to study the biological issues, whereas the cultural transmutations of these molecular mechanisms were explored using a variety of resources (novels, cookbooks, and films). Multiple evaluation procedures were used: problem summaries and problem-solving exercises (tripartite problem-solving exercise) for the problem-based learning component and group tasks and individual exercises for the cultural issues. Self-selected groups chose specific tasks from a prescribed list of options (setting up a journal in molecular gastronomy, developing an electronic tongue, designing a restaurant for synesthetes, organizing a farmers' market, marketing a culinary tour, framing hedonic scales, exploring changing tastes through works of art or recipe books, and crafting beers for space travel). Individual tasks were selected from a menu of options (book reviews, film reviews, conversations, creative writing, and oral exams). A few guest lecturers (wine making, cultural anthropology, film analysis, and nutritional epidemiology) added more flavor. The course was rated highly for its learning value (8.5 ± 1.2, n = 62) and helped students relate biological mechanisms to cultural issues (9.0 ± 0.9, n = 62).
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A