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  • How do sight and sound affect what we taste?
  • How do sight and sound affect what we taste?
    Viewminder, Creative Commons (2012) ©
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How to create a multi-sensory flavour sensation

When it comes to food, it’s all about flavour – right? Canvas8 spoke to Charles Spence, the psychologist behind ‘gastrophysics’, to discover how all senses impact on how we taste and to find out how brands are using packaging, colour and sound to radically alter our flavour experiences.

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‘You eat with your eyes first’ goes the saying, but how much do other senses really impact on our experience of taste? And can what we hear even influence flavour? According to Charles Spence, the psychologist who heads the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University, the answer is yes.

Spence is a pioneer of ‘gastrophysics’, a field of research which examines how all of our senses contribute to what we taste. While we might think of tasting as a deconstructive process where we extract different flavours from our food, gastrophysics would argue that it’s actually constructive, with layers of ...

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