Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters

Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters

by Gordon M. Shepherd
     
 

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Leading neuroscientist Gordon M. Shepherd embarks on a paradigm-shifting trip through the "human brain flavor system," laying the foundations for a new scientific field: neurogastronomy. Challenging the belief that our sense of smell diminished during as humans evolved, Shepherd argues that this sense, which constitutes the main component of flavor, is far more

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Overview

Leading neuroscientist Gordon M. Shepherd embarks on a paradigm-shifting trip through the "human brain flavor system," laying the foundations for a new scientific field: neurogastronomy. Challenging the belief that our sense of smell diminished during as humans evolved, Shepherd argues that this sense, which constitutes the main component of flavor, is far more powerful and essential than previously thought. Shepherd connects his research to trends in nutrition, dieting, obesity, and the challenges that many face in eating healthily. He concludes with human perceptions of smell and flavor and their relationship to the neural basis of consciousness.

Columbia University Press

Editorial Reviews

Avery Gilbert

Neurogastronomy is a personal yet magisterial account of the new brain-based approach to flavor perception. Gordon M. Shepherd's panoramic view of science, culture, and behavior is that of a true pioneer of the chemical senses.

Herve This
Cooking? It is first love, then art, then technique. Chefs and food lovers alike can benefit from a better appreciation of the phenomena at play throughout the culinary process, from the field to the fork and beyond. This is why flavor is so important, and why Gordon M. Shepherd's well-named Neurogastronomy is such a welcome addition to the literature.
Nature - Chris Loss

Shepherd makes an excellent case for neurogastronomy as an important cross-disciplinary field that is likely to motivate a variety of imperatives for our health and well-being.

New York Review of Books - Israel Rosenfeld and Edward B. Ziff

Stimulating and informing.

Hervé This

Cooking? It is first love, then art, then technique. Chefs and food lovers alike can benefit from a better appreciation of the phenomena at play throughout the culinary process, from the field to the fork and beyond. This is why flavor is so important, and why Gordon M. Shepherd's well-named Neurogastronomy is such a welcome addition to the literature.

Yum.fi

A work that has the potential for breaking new ground and developing a whole new direction of study.

Nature
Shepherd makes an excellent case for neurogastronomy as an important cross-disciplinary field that is likely to motivate a variety of imperatives for our health and well-being.Nature

— Chris Loss

Choice

Although written for lay readers, this excellent summary of everything people currently know about flavor perception must be considered the latest and most valuable review of research on the chemical senses.

New York Review of Books
...stimulating and informing...

— Israel Rosenfeld and Edward B. Ziff

Library Journal
Most assume that we perceive flavor based on our sense of taste, but scientific studies have shown that taste is much more complicated than that. The flavors we enjoy are actually the result of the interaction of several of our senses, with retronasal smell (smell from the back of the mouth to the nasal passage) providing the primary input to our brain. In addition to smell, taste, touch, vision, and hearing, our ability to interpret flavors is also influenced by memory, emotion, and language. Shepherd (neurobiology, Yale Univ.) provides extensive detail on the complex neurological pathways that create flavor and the many ways the brain influences individual flavor preferences. A full understanding of flavor provides new insights that nutritionists may find useful in combating ongoing dietary problems including obesity and failure of the elderly to thrive. VERDICT Shepherd attempts to simplify the science, but the biochemistry and physiology can still be a tough read. Those who make the effort will be rewarded: they'll never look at eating the same way again.—Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231159111
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
07/16/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
267
Sales rank:
886,475
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Richard Wrangham

Neurogastronomy is a path-breaking account of flavor from how we perceive it to how it affects society. Gordon M. Shepherd's explanation of our food preferences is a tour of the intellectual senses and a model of brain science.

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