Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 159, Issue 3, pp 405–408

Odor-induced changes in taste perception

Research Note

Abstract

We investigated odor-induced changes in taste perception (OICTP), by examining the influence of strawberry and soy sauce odors on perceived sweetness (Experiment 1) and saltiness (Experiment 2). We explored whether taste-smell interactions occur at the central level, by delivering odorants (strawberry, soy sauce, odorless water) and tastants (sucrose, sodium chloride) separately, and whether effects of imagined odors are comparable to those of physically presented odors. We found specific taste-smell interactions: sweetness enhancement induced by strawberry odor and saltiness enhancement induced by soy sauce odor. These interactions were elicited with separate delivery of olfactory and gustatory stimuli. Secondly, we found a similar but rather limited effect with the imagined odors: imagined strawberry enhanced perceived sweetness of water solutions, and imagined soy sauce enhanced perceived saltiness of weak sodium chloride solutions. We concluded that OICTP is a centrally mediated phenomenon, and that imagined odors can to some extent induce changes in perceived taste intensity comparable to those elicited by perceived odors.

Keywords

Taste-smell interaction Odor imagery Sweetness Saltiness Odorant Tastant 

References

  1. Algom D, Marks LE, Cain W (1993) Memory psychophysics for chemosensation: perceptual and mental mixtures of odor and taste. Chem Senses 18:151–160Google Scholar
  2. Dalton P, Doolittle N, Nagata H, Breslin PS (2000) The merging of the senses: integration of subthreshold taste and smell. Nat Neurosci 3:431–432CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. de Araujo IE, Rolls ET, Kringelbach ML, McGlone F, Phillips N (2003) Taste-olfactory convergence, and the representation of the pleasantness of flavour, in the human brain. Eur J Neurosci 18:2059–2068CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Djordjevic J, Zatorre RJ, Jones-Gotman M (2004a) Effects of perceived and imagined odors on taste detection. Chem Senses 29:199–208CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Djordjevic J, Zatorre RJ, Petrides M, Jones-Gotman M (2004b) The mind’s nose: Effects of odor and visual imagery on odor detection. Psychol Sci 15:143–148CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Elmes DG (1998) Is there an inner nose? Chem Senses 23:443–445PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Frank RA, Byram J (1988) Taste-smell interactions are tastant and odorant dependent. Chem Senses 13:445–455Google Scholar
  8. Frank RA, Van Der Klaauw NJ, Schifferstein HNJ (1993) Both perceptual and conceptual factors influence taste-odor and taste-taste interactions. Percept Psychophys 54:343–354PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Richardson A, Patterson Y (1986) An evaluation of three procedures for increasing imagery vividness. In: Sheikh AA (ed) International review of mental imagery, vol 2. Human Sciences Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Sakai N, Kobayakawa T, Gotow N, Saito S, Imada S (2001) Enhancement of sweetness ratings of aspartame by a vanilla odor presented either by orthonasal or retronasal routes. Percept Motor Skill 92:1002–1008Google Scholar
  11. Schifferstein HNJ (1997) Perceptual and imaginary mixtures in chemosensation. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 23:278–288CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Schifferstein HNJ, Verlegh PWJ (1996) The role of congruency and pleasantness in odor-induced taste-enhancement. Acta Psychol 94:87–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Shaffer G, Frank R (1990) An investigation of taste-smell interactions across four tastants and six odorants. Chem Senses 15:638Google Scholar
  14. Small DM, Jones-Gotman M, Zatorre RJ, Petrides M, Evans A (1997) Flavor processing: more than the sum of its parts. Neuroreport 8:3913–3917PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Stevenson RJ, Prescott J, Boakes RA (1999) Confusing tastes and smells: How odours can influence the perception of sweet and sour tastes. Chem Senses 24:627–635CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Sugiyama H, Ayabe-Kanamura S, Kikuchi T (2003) Is olfactory mental image sensory-like? Chem Senses 28:76Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Djordjevic
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. J. Zatorre
    • 1
  • M. Jones-Gotman
    • 1
  1. 1.Montreal Neurological InstituteMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Montreal Neurological InstituteMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations