A 2013 paper on the neurological impact of flavors has been retracted from The Journal of Neuroscience. The retraction notice offers few details (which is typical for the journal), but a statement sent to us by the last author noted that an investigation at the University of Maryland “determined that data fabrication and manipulation have occurred in this study.”
“Gustatory Stimuli Representing Different Perceptual Qualities Elicit Distinct Patterns of Neuropeptide Secretion from Taste Buds” examined the relationship between flavors and neuropeptides, molecules that send signals to the brain.
Here’s the retraction notice:
At the request of the corresponding author, The Journal of Neuroscience is retracting “Gustatory Stimuli Representing Different Perceptual Qualities Elicit Distinct Patterns of Neuropeptide Secretion from Taste Buds” by Maartje C. P. Geraedts and Steven D. Munger, which appeared on pages 7559–7564 of the April 24, 2013 issue.
Both authors were based at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore at the time the study was conducted. Steven D. Munger is now the associate director of the Center for Smell and Taste and professor at the University of Florida.
When reached by email for comment, Munger sent us a statement about the retraction:
An investigation at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (based on allegations by the corresponding author, Dr. Munger) has determined that data fabrication and manipulation have occurred in this study. Additionally, efforts by members of the Munger laboratory not involved in this study to validate key aspects of these experiments were unsuccessful. Therefore, I no longer have confidence in the results presented in this study, or the conclusions drawn from them, and have requested that the paper be retracted to correct the scientific record.
After reading Munger’s statement, first author Maartje (Maria) Geraedts told us:
I have no comment, his is very clear.
She added that she is:
…not affiliated with any university anymore. I wish not to share my affiliation.
The Society for Neuroscience, the journal’s publisher, declined to discuss the retraction.
The Society for Neuroscience does not comment on specific retractions in the Journal of Neuroscience.
We’ve reached out to the University of Maryland, and the journal’s editor-in-chief, Dora Angelaki. We’ll update if they respond.
The paper has been cited seven times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
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