The Psychology of Flavour

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Flavour is arguably the most fascinating aspect of eating and drinking. It utilises a complex variety of senses and processes, that incredibly work together to generate a unified, and hopefully pleasurable, experience. The processes involved are not just those involved in tasting at the time of eating, but also memory and learning processes - we obviously shun those foods of which we have a negative memory, and favour those we enjoy. Our understanding of the science of flavour has improved in recent years, benefiting psychology, cuisine, food science, oenology, and dietetics.

This book describes what is known about the psychology and biology of flavour. Written by an authority in the field, it is divided into two parts. The first explores what we know about the flavour system; including the role of learning and memory in flavour perception and hedonics; the way in which all the senses that contribute to flavour interact, and our ability to perceive flavour as a whole and as a series of parts. The later chapters examine a range of theoretical issues concerning the flavour system. This includes a look at multisensory processing, and the way in which the mind and brain bind information from discrete sensory systems. It also examines the broader implications of studying flavour for societal problems such as obesity. Written in an accessible style, that assumes little prior knowledge of the field, the book will be valuable for psychologists interested in perception, neuroscientists, food scientists, and dieticians.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199539352
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/3/2009
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,101,636
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard J. Stevenson received his a doctoral training at the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex, UK. He then moved to Australia to work for the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in their Division of Food Science and Technology. This was followed by a further period of postdoctoral training at the Department of Psychology, University of Sydney. He then obtained an academic position at the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Introduction 1

Flavour and its function in omnivores 1

Themes and organization of the book 2

The flavour stimulus-food and drink 5

Oral anatomy, mastication, and swallowing 9

The interoceptive flavour senses-olfaction, gustation, and somatosensation 11

Olfaction 11

Gustation 13

Somatosensation 14

2 Types of flavour interaction 19

Introduction 19

Taste 20

Smell 21

Somatosensory system 23

Taste and smell 25

Taste and somatosensation 31

Taste and irritant stimuli 31

Taste and temperature 34

Taste and tactile stimuli 35

Odour and somatosensation 39

Odour and irritant stimuli 39

Odour and temperature 40

Interactions within the somatosensory domain 40

Irritants and tactile stimuli 41

Irritants and temperature 42

Temperature and tactile stimuli 44

Interactions between odour, tactile, and taste stimuli 45

Tactile effects on odour and taste perception 45

Effect of odour and taste on tactile perception 50

Interactions with vision 52

Vision and taste 52

Vision and olfaction 53

Vision, taste, and smell (and somatosensation) 54

Interactions with audition 57

Conclusion 59

3 Causes of flavour interaction 61

Introduction 61

Impenetrable interactions 63

Taste 63

Smell 65

Information redundancy in the mouth 67

Auditory-tactile interactions 67

Creaminess 69

Interactions as side effects of learning 72

Odour-taste interactions-Functional issues 73

Odour-taste interactions-Nature 79

Odour-taste interactions-Learning 88

Odour-taste interactions-Neural basis 94

Odour-taste interactions-Conclusion 98

Odour-tactile/taste interactions 99

Colour and flavour interactions 101

Interactions as sideeffects of learning-Conclusions 105

Conclusion 106

4 Wholes and parts 109

Introduction 109

Is flavour a unitary experience? 110

Wholes into parts 115

Taste 115

Smell 119

Texture 124

Tastes and smells 129

Expertise with food and drink-Introduction 139

Wine 139

Beer 146

Trained panels 148

Expertise with food and drink-Conclusion 154

Discussion 154

Conclusion 157

5 Flavour hedonics 159

Introduction 159

Function one-Decision to ingest prior to oral incorporation 161

Mechanisms likely to involve more conscious processing 163

Mechanisms likely to involve less conscious processing 168

Discussion-Function one 183

Function two-Decision to ingest once food is in the mouth 184

Innate preferences and aversions, and the effects of experience 184

Violated expectations 190

Discussion-Function two 194

Function three-Decisions about how much to ingest 194

Appetite promotion 195

Intake regulation 196

Discussion-Function three 200

General discussion 201

6 Flavour theory 205

Introduction 205

Functional approach to flavour 206

Psychological perspective 206

Function one-locating, identifying, and selecting food 206

Function two-harm detection in the mouth 207

Function three-encoding experience with flavour 208

Function four-regulating food intake 209

Function five-delayed consequence learning 210

Discussion 211

Biological perspective 211

Function one-locating, identifying and selecting food 211

Function two-harm detection in the mouth 214

Function three-encoding experience with flavour 215

Function four-regulating food intake 216

Function five-delayed consequence learning 216

Discussion 217

Issues arising 217

Flavour as a system 217

Wholes, parts, and binding 219

Peripheral binding-like processes of mouth-based modalities 222

Flavour binding (retronasal olfaction and oral inputs) 222

Flavour binding-functional considerations 227

Flavour binding (orthonasal input and redintegrated flavour) 228

The orthonasal and retronasal distinction 230

Delineation and matching 232

Multimodal objects and flavour variability during a meal 234

Conclusion 238

7 Implications 239

Introduction 239

Synaesthesia 239

Hedonics 242

Over-nutrition 244

Under-nutrition 248

Perceptual expertise and training 249

Methodology 251

Future directions 252

Interactions 252

Attention 253

Binding 254

The orthonasal/retronasal distinction 255

Hedonics 256

Conclusion 257

Closing remarks 258

References 259

Index 295

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