The Neural & Behavioral Sciences Department Featured Member for June
Dr. Thomas C. Pritchard
Dr. Pritchard has worked at The Pennsylvania State University for over 30 years and is a Professor in the Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences.
Dr. Pritchard has spent most of his career studying the functional organization of the gustatory system in nonhuman primates. His description of the cortical projections of the thalamic taste area remains the definitive study of the location of primary taste cortex in the Old World monkey. More recently, Dr. Pritchard discovered that part of the medial orbitofrontal cortex contains a significant population of neurons that respond to sapid stimulation of the tongue. Because the evoked activity of some of these neurons is modulated by the animal’s level of satiety, this area appears to be one of several that links the sensory and motivational aspects of taste.
Dr. Pritchard, a prominent member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program for many years, says of the program, “The beauty of our program is that it offers students graduate training across the spectrum of neuroscience from the cellular/molecular, to systems, to cognitive and translation neuroscience in a professional, but collegial atmosphere.”
Dr. Pritchard will retire from the Department of Neural & Behavioral Sciences on June 30, 2014 in order to spend more time with his wonderful family, continue his passion for diving shipwrecks in the North Atlantic, and write by choice, rather than by necessity.
We wish him well and we will remember him by his email signature:
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, yelling, “Whooopeee!!!