Psychology of FoodSemester Course

Week-Long Study Tour
Core Course Week Study Tour
Major Discipline(s)
Food Studies, Psychology
Paused Course
This course is currently paused for the Fall 2021 semester. It will run in other semesters.
Core Course
Spring semester

We all have a relationship to food and it is about much more than physiology. This course explores the neurological, psychological, cultural, and social aspects of our relationship to food and eating. We consider the historical and current meaning of food, exploring phenomena such as ethically inspired veganism and social media food pornography, through a psychological lens. We also examine the paradox between growing obesity on the one hand and eating disorders and malnourishment on the other. Food can be used as means of social connectedness, be a mechanism of exclusion, or a theme in mental illnesses. Food is indeed psychology.

Related Discipline(s)

This course would also be of interest to the following discipline(s):
Philosophy, Sociology


Janina Seubert

DIS Stockholm Semester Faculty

I am a cognitive neuroscientist with a passion for human chemosensation, and the goal of understanding the contribution of flavor perception to the regulation of appetite. I hold a clinical Neuroscience PhD from RWTH Aachen University (2010), and an MSc in Neuro-Cognitive Psychology from LMU Munich (2006). From 2010-2014, I was a postdoctoral researcher studying the cognitive neuroscience of smell and taste perception at the University of Pennsylvania and Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, USA.  Since 2014, I have worked at the Karolinska Institute, where I am a senior researcher and lead a research team that studies perceptual processing of food flavor. As part of a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), we currently investigate how new flavor preferences are formed, and how they are regulated by signals from the digestive tract. The goal of this research is to understand how we can overcome our preferences for familiar food flavors in favor of healthier or more sustainable options, and thus inspire public health efforts directed towards dietary change. With DIS since 2020.