The studies will take place over four years in the Genetics of Taste Lab, home to a distinctive model of research using crowdsourced data from Museum guests who volunteer to participate. The NIH grant, led by Nicole Garneau, PhD, principal investigator and curator of health sciences, will start with a sour taste study that launched in November 2016. Previous studies in the lab, which is located in Expedition Health, have helped to debunk the term “supertaster,” have provided evidence that fat is the sixth taste, and have explored how the human microbiome―the unique group of bacteria in and on each person’s body—affects the way we taste sweet.
EPs are recordings of the nervous system’s electrical response to the stimulation of specific sensory pathways (., visual, auditory, general sensory). In tests of evoked potentials, a person’s recorded responses are displayed on an oscilloscope and analyzed on a computer that allows comparison with normal response times. Demyelination results in a slowing of response time. EPs can demonstrate lesions along specific nerve pathways whether or not the lesions are producing symptoms, thus making this test useful in confirming the diagnosis of MS. Visual evoked potentials are considered the most useful in MS.