Water taste in man

Abstract

Taste quality and intensity shifts following adaptation to NaCl, quinine hydrochloride, sucrose and HCl were investigated in 10 Ss. In each of four sessions, Ss were adapted to water and two concentrations of one taste solution and gave magnitude estimates and quality judgments for a series of concentrations of that solution. Adapting to water produced magnitude estimates which increased with increasing concentration. Quality judgments were typical, e.g., “salty” for NaCl. Adapting to moderate concentrations of taste solutions generally produced magnitude estimates of zero at the adapting concentrations and increasing values for higher and lower (sub-adapting) concentrations. Sub-adapting tastes were atypical. Adaptation to NaCl and sucrose produced bitter sub-adapting tastes and adaptation to HCl and quinine hydrochloride produced sweet sub-adapting tastes. Water, as the lowest sub-adapting “concentration”, produced the largest sub-adapting tastes.

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The experiment on which this report is based was performed at Brown University while the author was a research associate with Dr. Carl Pfaffmann. The research was supported by grant GB-2754 from the National Science Foundation and was described at the April, 1966 meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association in New York.

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Bartoshuk, L.M. Water taste in man. Perception & Psychophysics 3, 69–72 (1968). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03212715

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Keywords

  • Test Stimulus
  • Taste Quality
  • Taste Stimulus
  • Sour Taste
  • Quality Judgment