Dr. Robert Contreras
James C. Smith Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience
- PDB B439
- Roles of early dietary experience, taste, hormones, and the brain in control of appetite, energy balance, and blood pressure regulation. Special focus is on plasticity, hypertension, and obesity. Analyses include behavioral, physiological, and anatomical approaches.
- Current Research
- The research focuses on how the rodent peripheral gustatory system codes information about taste quality and intensity, as well as how internal (e.g. sodium deprivation, hormone levels) and external (e.g. stimulus temperature) factors influence coding using electrophysiological recording methods of whole nerve and single-cell responses and parallel psychophysical studies of taste-mediated behavior.
- Recent Publications
Torregrossa AM, Nikonova L, Bales MB, Villalobos Leal M, Smith JC, Contreras RJ, Eckel LA, Induction of salivary proteins modifies measures of both orosensory and postingestive feedback during exposure to a tannic acid diet, PLoS One, 2014 PubMed Wu W, Mast TG, Ziembko C, Breza JM, Contreras RJ, Statistical analysis and decoding of neural activity in the rodent geniculate ganglion using a metric-based inference system, PLoS One, 2013 PubMed Breza JM, Contreras RJ, Anion size modulates salt taste in rats, J Neurophysiol, 2012 PubMed Smith KR, Treesukosol Y, Paedae AB, Contreras RJ, Spector AC, Contribution of the TRPV1 channel to salt taste quality in mice as assessed by conditioned taste aversion generalization and chorda tympani nerve responses, Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2012 PubMed Lu B, Breza JM, Nikonov AA, Paedae AB, Contreras RJ, Leptin increases temperature-dependent chorda tympani nerve responses to sucrose in mice, Physiol Behav, 2012 PubMed Breza JM, Contreras RJ, Acetic acid modulates spike rate and spike latency to salt in peripheral gustatory neurons of rats, J Neurophysiol, 2012 PubMed Lawhern V, Nikonov AA, Wu W, Contreras RJ, Spike rate and spike timing contributions to coding taste quality information in rat periphery, Front Integr Neurosci, 2011 PubMed Breza JM, Nikonov AA, Contreras RJ, Response latency to lingual taste stimulation distinguishes neuron types within the geniculate ganglion, J Neurophysiol, 2010 PubMed Stratford JM, Contreras RJ, Saliva and other taste stimuli are important for gustatory processing of linoleic acid, Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2009 PubMed Garcia JM, Curtis KS, Contreras RJ, Behavioral and electrophysiological taste responses change after brief or prolonged dietary sodium deprivation, Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2008 PubMed Frank ME, Lundy RF Jr, Contreras RJ, Cracking taste codes by tapping into sensory neuron impulse traffic, Prog Neurobiol, 2008 PubMed Stratford JM, Curtis KS, Contreras RJ, Linoleic acid increases chorda tympani nerve responses to and behavioral preferences for monosodium glutamate by male and female rats, Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2008 PubMed Breza JM, Curtis KS, Contreras RJ, Monosodium glutamate but not linoleic acid differentially activates gustatory neurons in the rat geniculate ganglion, Chem Senses, 2007 PubMed Krause EG, Curtis KS, Markle JP, Contreras RJ, Oestrogen affects the cardiovascular and central responses to isoproterenol of female rats, J Physiol, 2007 PubMed Stratford JM, Curtis KS, Contreras RJ, Chorda tympani nerve transection alters linoleic acid taste discrimination by male and female rats, Physiol Behav, 2006 PubMed Curtis KS, Contreras RJ, Sex differences in electrophysiological and behavioral responses to NaCl taste, Behav Neurosci, 2006 PubMed Krause EG, Curtis KS, Stincic TL, Markle JP, Contreras RJ, Oestrogen and weight loss decrease isoproterenol-induced Fos immunoreactivity and angiotensin type 1 mRNA in the subfornical organ of female rats, J Physiol, 2006 PubMed Dietz DM, Curtis KS, Contreras RJ, Taste, salience, and increased NaCl ingestion after repeated sodium depletions, Chem Senses, 2006 PubMed Breza JM, Curtis KS, Contreras RJ, Temperature modulates taste responsiveness and stimulates gustatory neurons in the rat geniculate ganglion, J Neurophysiol, 2006 PubMed Curtis KS, Stratford JM, Contreras RJ, Estrogen increases the taste threshold for sucrose in rats, Physiol Behav, 2005 PubMed Curtis KS, Davis LM, Johnson AL, Therrien KL, Contreras RJ, Sex differences in behavioral taste responses to and ingestion of sucrose and NaCl solutions by rats, Physiol Behav, 2004 PubMed Curtis KS, Krause EG, Wong DL, Contreras RJ, Gestational and early postnatal dietary NaCl levels affect NaCl intake, but not stimulated water intake, by adult rats, Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2004 PubMed