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Dr Mei Peng

Mei PengSenior Lecturer


Ph.D. (Auckland), M.A Hons (Auckland), BA (Auckland)

Honorary Lecturer, School of Psychology (University of Auckland)


Contact

Tel +64 3 479 4052 Ext 4052
Email mei.peng@otago.ac.nz
Location CSB 109

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About

Dr Mei Peng is a senior lecturer in Sensory Science in the Department of Food Science. With a background in Experimental Psychology, Mei uses multi-disciplinary approach (behavioural, cognitive-neuro, physiological) to study inter- and intra-individual differences in sensory processing and their links to food-related behaviour, and health issues, such as obesity and depression.

Mei’s Laboratory is specialised in running large-scaled, multi-factored, human-participants based studies, including a few Marsden-funded projects (e.g., Searching for multi-sensory fingerprints: a personalised index of hedonic eating (2018–2020); How do sensory shifts shape our diet (2022-2025)).

In 2020, Mei initiated the establishment of the Otepoti-based longitudinal research cohort to track behavioural and neural-sensory changes related to pregnancy – the ENERGY Longitudinal Study Cohort – the very first pregravid longitudinal research cohort in Aotearoa.
Mei currently sits on the Editorial Board of Food Quality and Preference. She is also the founding member of Australasian Sensory Professional Network, and a main organiser of the annual NZOZ sensory symposium.

She is also a member of Food Waste Innovation, a University of Otago Research Theme.

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Teaching

Course Co‑ordinator

Contributor to

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Research

Research interests

Mei has a diverse range of research interests, including basic sensory processing, eating behaviour, food psychology, and human health. She is particularly interested in understanding intersections of sensory physiology and psychology, and how these can impact on human health.

  • Effects of pregnancy on macronutrient selections
  • Multi-sensory Fingerprints – Individual differences in multi-sensory processing to indicate obesity


Research projects

ENERGY longitudinal cohort study

  • Multi-sensory Fingerprints – a personalised index of hedonic eating and obesity
  • Long-term effects of COVID on eating behaviour and food choices
  • When Plant-based diets meet pregnancy – how maternal plant-based diets affect mothers and infants
  • “Mummy Brain” – Long-term effects of pregnancy on neurosensory, eating-related cognitive and behavioural processing
  • Please contact me to discuss a research project


Postgraduate supervision

Current students

  • Stephanie McLeod (PhD), “When Plant-based diets meet pregnancy – how maternal plant-based diets affect mothers and infants”
  • Elizabeth Tabe Agbor (PhD), “The impact of gustation and olfaction on eating behaviours and dietary patterns from pre-pregnancy to the postpartum in low social-economics groups and refugees”
  • Dhirendra Gehlot (Marsden-funded PhD), “Olfactory cocktail party: How human segregate mixture of odours”
  • Hannah Browne (PhD), “Long-term effect of pregnancy on sensory abilities and macronutrient selection”

Past PhD students

  • Rachel Ginieis (PhD), “Multi-sensory fingerprints and their links to hedonic eating
  • Sashie Abeywickrema (PhD), “Linking individual olfactory and gustatory sensitivity to adiposity and eating behaviour”
  • Nassim Jalil Mozhdehi (PhD), “Comparing sensory perception and dietary intake across individuals with vegetarian, vegan, and omnivorous diets”
  • Xiaohai (Justin) Geng (PhD), "Developing and assessing implicit methods for food choices"

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Publications

Ginieis, R., Abeywickrema, S., Oey, I., & Peng, M. (2022). Testing links of food-related olfactory perception to peripheral ghrelin and leptin concentrations. Frontiers in Nutrition, 9, 888608. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.888608

Abeywickrema, S., Oey, I., & Peng, M. (2022). Sensory specific satiety or appetite? Investigating effects of retronasally-introduced aroma and taste cues on subsequent real-life snack intake. Food Quality & Preference. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2022.104612

Abeywickrema, S., Ginieis, R., Oey, I., & Peng, M. (2022). Olfactory and gustatory supra-threshold sensitivities are linked to ad libitum snack choice. Foods, 11, 799. doi: 10.3390/foods11060799

Ginieis, R., Abeywickrema, S., Oey, I., Keast, R. S. J., & Peng, M. (2022). Searching for individual multi-sensory fingerprints and their links with adiposity: New insights from meta-analyses and empirical data. Food Quality & Preference. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2022.104574

Maharjan, A., Peng, M., Russell, B., & Cakmak, Y. O. (2022). Investigation of the optimal parameters of median nerve stimulation, using a variety of stimulation methods, and its effects on heart rate variability: A systematic review. Neuromodulation. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.neurom.2021.10.005

Abeywickrema, S., Ginieis, R., Oey, I., & Peng, M. (2022). Olfactory and gustatory supra-threshold sensitivities are linked to ad libitum snack choice. Foods, 11, 799. doi: 10.3390/foods11060799

Journal - Research Article

Abeywickrema, S., Oey, I., & Peng, M. (2022). Sensory specific satiety or appetite? Investigating effects of retronasally-introduced aroma and taste cues on subsequent real-life snack intake. Food Quality & Preference. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2022.104612

Journal - Research Article

Ginieis, R., Abeywickrema, S., Oey, I., & Peng, M. (2022). Testing links of food-related olfactory perception to peripheral ghrelin and leptin concentrations. Frontiers in Nutrition, 9, 888608. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.888608

Journal - Research Article

Ginieis, R., Abeywickrema, S., Oey, I., Keast, R. S. J., & Peng, M. (2022). Searching for individual multi-sensory fingerprints and their links with adiposity: New insights from meta-analyses and empirical data. Food Quality & Preference. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2022.104574

Journal - Research Article

Deng, Q., Haszard, J. J., Conner, T. S., Rapsey, C., Peng, M., & Venn, B. J. (2021). Cognitive performance, mood and satiety following ingestion of beverages imparting different glycaemic responses: A randomised double-blind crossover trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 75, 602-610. doi: 10.1038/s41430-020-00749-6

Journal - Research Article

Ginieis, R., Abeywickrema, S., Oey, I., Franz, E. A., Perry, T., Keast, R. S. J., & Peng, M. (2021). The role of an individual's olfactory discriminability in influencing snacking and habitual energy intake. Appetite, 167, 105646. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2021.105646

Journal - Research Article

Jalil Mozhdehi, N., Abeywickrema, S., Bremer, P. J., & Peng, M. (2021). Comparing taste detection thresholds across individuals following vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore diets. Foods, 10, 2704. doi: 10.3390/foods10112704

Journal - Research Article

Maharjan, A., Peng, M., & Cakmak, Y. O. (2021). The effects of frequency-specific, non-invasive, median nerve stimulation on food-related attention and appetite. Appetite. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2021.105807

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M., Browne, H., Cahayadi, J., & Cakmak, Y. (2021). Predicting food choices based on eye-tracking data: Comparisons between real-life and virtual tasks. Appetite, 166, 105477. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2021.105477

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M., Potterton, H., Chu, J. T. W., & Glue, P. (2021). Olfactory shifts linked to postpartum depression. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 14947. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-94556-z

Journal - Research Article

Cahayadi, J., Leong, S. Y., Oey, I., & Peng, M. (2020). Textural effects on perceived satiation and ad libitum intake of potato chips in males and females. Foods, 9(1), 85. doi: 10.3390/foods9010085

Journal - Research Article

Duerlund, M., Vad Andersen, B., Alexi, N., Peng, M., & Byrne, D. V. (2020). Subjective sensations related to food as determinants of snack choice. Foods, 9(3), 336. doi: 10.3390/foods9030336

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M., Cahayadi, J., Geng, X., & Eidels, A. (2020). Mixed messages: Assessing interactions between portion-size and energy-density perceptions in different weight and sex groups. Appetite, 144, 104462. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2019.104462

Journal - Research Article

Cahayadi, J., Geng, X., Mirosa, M., & Peng, M. (2019). Expectancy versus experience: Comparing Portion-Size-Effect during pre-meal planning and actual intake. Appetite, 135, 108-114. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2019.01.012

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M., Coutts, D., Wang, T., & Cakmak, Y. O. (2019). Systematic review of olfactory shifts related to obesity. Obesity Reviews, 20, 325-338. doi: 10.1111/obr.12800

Journal - Research Article

Traill, R. M., Luckman, M. S., Fisk, N. A., & Peng, M. (2019). Application of the Rate-All-That-Apply (RATA) method to differentiate the visual appearance of milk powders using trained sensory panels. International Dairy Journal, 97, 230-237. doi: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2019.05.013

Journal - Research Article

Ginieis, R., Franz, E. A., Oey, I., & Peng, M. (2018). The “sweet” effect: Comparative assessments of dietary sugars on cognitive performance. Physiology & Behavior, 184, 242-247. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.12.010

Journal - Research Article

Maharjan, A., Peng, M., & Cakmak, Y. O. (2018). Non-invasive high frequency median nerve stimulation effectively suppresses olfactory intensity perception in healthy males. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12, 533. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00533

Journal - Research Article

Maharjan, A., Wang, E., Peng, M., & Cakmak, Y. O. (2018). Improvement of olfactory function with high frequency non-invasive auricular electrostimulation in healthy humans. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 225. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00225

Journal - Research Article

Pickup, W., Bremer, P., & Peng, M. (2018). Comparing conventional Descriptive Analysis and Napping®-UFP against physiochemical measurements: A case study using apples. Journal of the Science of Food & Agriculture, 98(4), 1476-1484. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8616

Journal - Research Article

Rodrigues, N., Peng, M., Oey, I., & Venn, B. J. (2018). Glycaemic, uricaemic and blood pressure response to beverages with partial fructose replacement of sucrose. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72, 1717-1723. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0134-x

Journal - Research Article

Wang, E., Cakmak, Y. O., & Peng, M. (2018). Eating with eyes: Comparing eye movements and food choices between overweight and lean individuals in a real-life buffet setting. Appetite, 125, 152-159. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.02.003

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M. (2017). How does plate size affect estimated satiation and intake for individuals in normal-weight and overweight groups? Obesity Science & Practice, 3(3), 282-288. doi: 10.1002/osp4.119

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M., Adam, S., Hautus, M. J., Shin, M., Duizer, L. M., & Yan, H. (2017). See food diet? Cultural differences in estimating fullness and intake as a function of plate size. Appetite, 117, 197-202. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.06.032

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M., Hautus, M. J., & Jaeger, S. R. (2016). Methods for fitting olfactory psychometric functions: A case study comparing psychometric functions for individuals with a "sensitive" or "insensitive" genotype for β-ionone. Chemical Senses, 41(9), 771-782. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjw090

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M., Hautus, M. J., Oey, I., & Silcock, P. (2016). Is there a generalized sweetness sensitivity for an individual? A psychophysical investigation of inter-individual differences in detectability and discriminability for sucrose and fructose. Physiology & Behavior, 165, 239-248. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.08.004

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M., Jaeger, S. R., & Hautus, M. J. (2014). Fitting psychometric functions using a fixed-slope parameter: An advanced alternative for estimating odor thresholds with data generated by ASTM E679. Chemical Senses, 39, 229-241. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjt073

Journal - Research Article

Jaeger, S. R., McRae, J. F., Bava, C. M., Beresford, M. K., Hunter, D., Jia, Y., … Peng, M., … Newcomb, R. D. (2013). A Mendelian trait for olfactory sensitivity affects odor experience and food selection. Current Biology, 23(16), 1601-1605. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.07.030

Journal - Research Article

McRae, J. F., Jaeger, S. R., Bava, C. M., Beresford, M., Hunter, D., Jia, Y., … Peng, M., … Newcomb, R. D. (2013). Identification of regions associated with variation in sensitivity to food-related odors in the human genome. Current Biology, 23(16), 1596-1600. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.07.031

Journal - Research Article

Jaeger, S. R., Pineau, B., Bava, C. M., Atkinson, K. R., McRae, J. F., Axten, L. G., … Peng, M., … Newcomb, R. D. (2012). Investigation of the impact of sensitivity to cis-3-hexen-1-ol (green/grassy) on food acceptability and selection. Food Quality & Preference, 24(2), 230-242. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2011.11.005

Journal - Research Article

Peng, M., Jaeger, S. R., & Hautus, M. J. (2012). Determining odour detection thresholds: Incorporating a method-independent definition into the implementation of ASTM E679. Food Quality & Preference, 25(2), 95-104. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2012.02.006

Journal - Research Article

Hautus, M. J., Shepherd, D., & Peng, M. (2011). Decision strategies for the A Not-A, 2AFC and 2AFC-reminder tasks: Empirical tests. Food Quality & Preference, 22(5), 433-442. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2011.02.008

Journal - Research Article

Hautus, M. J., Shepherd, D., & Peng, M. (2011). Decision strategies for the two-alternative forced choice reminder paradigm. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 73(3), 729-737. doi: 10.3758/s13414-010-0076-4

Journal - Research Article

Maharjan, A., Peng, M., Russell, B., & Cakmak, Y. O. (2022). Investigation of the optimal parameters of median nerve stimulation, using a variety of stimulation methods, and its effects on heart rate variability: A systematic review. Neuromodulation. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.neurom.2021.10.005

Journal - Research Other

Browne, H., Kok, A., & Peng, M. (2021). Effects of pregnancy on sensory fingerprints and eating behaviour. Proceedings of the University of Otago Student Research Symposium: Te Wānaka Rakahau: Ākoka. (pp. 15). [Abstract]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Maharjan, A., Peng, M., & Cakmak, Y. O. (2019). Neuromodulation of olfactory performances using high-frequency vagus and median nerve stimulation in healthy male adults. In K. Hillman (Ed.), Proceedings of the 37th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR). (pp. 46). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Peng, M. (2017). Sweetness perception and cognitive performance: Investigating effects of contrasting sweet substances on cognitive tasks associated with prefrontal lobe. Proceedings of the 44th Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC). (pp. 74). Retrieved from http://www.asep.com.au/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Peng, M., Adam, S., Shin, M., Duizer, L., & Yan, H. (2017). Cultural dependence on visual cues for predicting satiation and food intake. Proceedings of the 44th Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC). (pp. 75). Retrieved from http://www.asep.com.au/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Peng, M., Lodhia, V., Johnson, B. W., & Hautus, M. J. (2008). Spatial and non-spatial information in dichotic pitch. In J. G. Anson (Ed.), Proceedings of the 26th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 26, (pp. 39). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/2008Abstracts.pdf

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Abduh, S. B. M., Leong, S. Y., Agyei, D., Peng, M., & Oey, I. (2017, November). Effect of pulsed electric fields on starch digestibility of potato. Poster session presented at the 7th International Symposium on Delivery of Functionality in Complex Food Systems, Auckland, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Peng, M., & Hautus, M. J. (2015, June-July). Measuring panellist detection thresholds: A comparison of two common sensory methods. Poster session presented at the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology (NZIFST) 50th Anniversary Conference, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Pickup, W., Bremer, P., & Peng, M. (2015, June-July). Sensory profiling of New Zealand apples: A comparison between Quantitative Descriptive Analysis and Napping®. Poster session presented at the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology (NZIFST) 50th Anniversary Conference, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Peng, M. (2017, August). Effect of plate size on pre-meal planning for normal-weight and overweight individuals. Verbal presentation at the 12th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, Providence, USA.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Peng, M., Jaeger, S. R., & Hautus, M. J. (2014, May). Psychophysical methods for odour threshold estimation: Solving the paradox between theory and practice. Verbal presentation at the Asian Sensory and Consumer Research Symposium (SenseAsia), Singapore.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Peng, M. (2014). Development of psychophysical methods for estimating human odour detection thresholds (PhD). University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2292/21843

Awarded Doctoral Degree

Peng, M. (2009). Experimental investigation of decision strategies for the duo-trio sensory difference task (MA). University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. 101p.

Awarded Masters Degree

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