Orosensory Perception

  • Per Møller
Part of the AAPS Advances in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Series book series (AAPS, volume 11)


This chapter provides an introduction to the sensory systems which determine human perception of foods. Since the same sensory systems are stimulated when a patient receives medication via the oral route, properties and effects described in the context of food perception are relevant to the understanding of the perception of pharmacological substances, and these should be taken into account when designing and/or formulating medicines.

The different senses humans are endowed with serve different purposes. Properties of the senses of taste, smell, trigeminality, and touch (mouthfeel) are described as well as the integration of these into flavor perception. It is discussed how memories carried by these senses, which are important for food choice behavior, are distinguished from memory in a “higher” sense such as vision.

Orosensory perception is closely connected to different satiety mechanisms and reward in connection with foods and some aspects of these problems are described. Preference development and acceptance are particularly important in food perception and the mechanisms of these are explained. The same mechanisms are responsible for generation of aversions. Great care should be exercised to avoid these aversions in connection with administration of drugs.


Conditional Stimulus Unconditional Stimulus Orbitofrontal Cortex Taste Cell Basic Taste 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Köster EP (2002) The specific characteristics of the sense of smell. In: Rouby C, Schaal B, Dubois D, Gervais R, Holley A (eds) Olfaction, taste, and cognition. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Morin-Audebrand L, Mojet J, Chabanet C, Issanchou S, Møller P, Köster EP, Sulmont-Rossé C (2012) The role of novelty detection in food memory. Acta Psychol 139:233–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Köster EP, Mojet J (2007) Theories of food choice development. In: Frewer L, Van Trijp HCM (eds) Understanding consumers of food products. Woodhead, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Herz RS (2002) Influences of odors and mood on affective cognition. In: Rouby C, Schaal B, Dubois D, Gervais R, Holley A (eds) Olfaction, taste, and cognition. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Herz RS (2002) An examination of objective and subjective measures associated to odors, music and paintings. Empirical Stud Arts 16:137–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Doty RL (ed) (2003) Handbook of olfaction and gustation, 2nd edn. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Firestein S, Beauchamp GK (eds) (2008) The senses: a comprehensive reference, vol 4, Olfaction and taste. Academic/Elsevier, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Delwiche J (1996) Are there ‘basic’ tastes? Trends Food Sci Technol 7:411–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chaudhari N, Roper SD (2010) The cell biology of taste. J Cell Biol 190:285–296PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dubois GE, Desimone J, Lyall V (2008) Chemistry of gustatory stimuli. In: Firestein S, Beauchamp GK (eds) The senses: a comprehensive reference, vol 4, Olfaction and taste. Academic/Elsevier, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rolls ET, Scott TR (2003) Central taste anatomy and neurophysiology. In: Doty RL (ed) Handbook of olfaction and gustation, 2nd edn. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Breslin PAS (1996) Interactions among salty, sour and bitter compounds. Trends Food Sci Technol 7:390–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Stevenson RJ (2010) An initial evaluation of the functions of human olfaction. Chem Senses 35:3–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Herz RC, Cupchik GC (1995) The emotional distinctiveness of odor-evoked memories. Chem Senses 20:517–528PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Herz RC, Eliassen J, Beland S, Souza T (2004) Neuroimaging evidence for the emotional potency of odor-evoked memory. Neuropsychologia 42:371–378PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Giduck SA, Threatte K (1987) Cephalic reflexes: their role in digestion and possible roles in absorption and metabolism. J Nutr 117:1191–1196PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mattes RD (1997) Physiologic responses to sensory stimulation by food: nutritional implications. J Am Diet Assoc 97:406–413PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Small DM, Gerber JC, Mak YE, Hummel T (2005) Differential neural responses evoked by orthonasal versus retronasal odorant perception in humans. Neuron 47(4):593–605PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Small DM, Veldhuizen MG, Felsted J, Mak YE, Mcglone FC (2008) Separable substrates for anticipatory and consummatory food chemosensation. Neuron 57:786–797Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Møller P, Wulff C, Köster EP (2004) Do age differences in odour memory depend on differences in verbal memory? Neuroreport 15(5):915–917PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Møller P, Mojet J, Köster EP (2007) Incidental and intentional flavour memory in young and older subjects. Chem Senses 32(6):557–567PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sulmont-Rossé C, Møller P, Issanchou S, Köster EP (2008) Effect of age and food novelty on food memory. Chem Percept 1:199–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Köster EP (2005) Does odour memory depend on remembering odours? Chem Senses 30(Suppl 1):i236–i237Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Møller P, Köster EP, Dijkman N, de Wijk R, Mojet J (2012) Same–different reaction times to odors: some unexpected findings. Chem Percept 5:158–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mojet J, Köster EP (2005) Sensory memory and food texture. Food Qual Preference 16:251–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Köster MA, Prescott J, Köster EP (2004) Incidental learning and memory for three basic tastes in food. Chem Senses 29:441–453PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Laureati M, Morin-Audebrand L, Pagliarini E, Sulmont-Rossé C, Köster EP, Mojet J (2008) Food memory and its relation with age and liking: an incidental learning experiment with children, young and elderly people. Appetite 5:273–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    de Araujo IE, Rolls ET, Velazco MI, Margot C, Cayeux I (2005) Cognitive modulation of olfactory processing. Neuron 46:671–679Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Grabenhorst G, Rolls ET, Bilderbeck A (2008) How cognition modulates affective responses to taste and flavour: top-down influences on the orbitofrontal and pregenual cingulated cortices. Cereb Cortex 18:1549–1559PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Grabenhorst G, Rolls ET (2008) Selective attention to affective value alters how the brain processes taste stimuli. Eur J Neurosci 27:723–729PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Doty RL, Cometto-Muniz JE (2003) Trigeminal chemosensation. In: Doty RL (ed) Handbook of olfaction and gustation, 2nd edn. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Green BG (1996) Chemesthesis: pungency as a component of flavor. Trends Food Sci Technol 7:415–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Belza A, Frandsen E, Kondrup J (2007) Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. Int J Obes 31(1):121–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Diepvens K, Joosen AMCP, Berube-Parent S, Tremblay A (2006) Metabolic effects of spices, teas, and caffeine. Physiol Behav 89(1):85–91PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Reinbach HC, Smeets A, Martinussen T, Møller P, Westerterp-Plantenga MS (2009) Effects of capsaicin, green tea and CH-19 sweet pepper on appetite and energy intake in humans in negative and positive energy balance. Clin Nutr 28:260–265PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Smeets A, Lejeune MPG (2005) Sensory and gastrointestinal satiety effects of capsaicin on food intake. Int J Obes (Lond) 29(6):682–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Szczesniak AS (2002) Texture is a sensory property. Food Qual Preference 13:215–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Kilcast D, Clegg S (2002) Sensory perception of creaminess and its relationship with food structure. Food Qual Preference 13:609–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Small DM (2012) Flavor is in the brain. Physiol Behav. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.04.011 Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Jinks A, Laing DG (1999) A limit in the processing of components in odour mixtures. Perception 28:395–404PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Verhagen JV, Engelen L (2006) The neurocognitive bases of human multimodal food perception: sensory integration. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 30:613–650PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Rolls ET (1999) The brain and emotion. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kringelbach ML, O’Doherty J, Rolls ET, Andrews C (2003) Activation of the human orbitofrontal cortex to a liquid food stimulus is correlated with its subjective pleasantness. Cereb Cortex 13:1064–1071PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Olsen A, Ritz C, Hartvig DL, Møller P (2011) Comparison of sensory specific satiety and sensory specific desires to eat in children and adults. Appetite 57:6–13PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Berridge KC (1996) Food reward: brain substrates of wanting and liking. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 20:1–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Berthoud H-R (2004) Mind versus metabolism in the control of food intake and energy balance. Physiol Behav 81:781–793PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Wise RA (2002) Brain reward circuitry: insights from unsensed incentives. Neuron 36:229–240PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Berridge KC, Robinson TE (2003) Parsing reward. Trends Neurosci 26:507–513PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Finlayson G, King N, Blundell JE (2007) Liking vs. wanting food: importance for human appetite control and weight regulation. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 31:987–1002PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Small DM, Zatorre RJ, Dagher A, Evans AC, Jones-Gotman M (2001) Changes in brain activity related to eating chocolate. Brain 124:1720–1733PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Bassareo V, Di Chiara G (1999) Modulation of feeding-induced activation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission by appetitive stimuli and its relation to motivational state. Eur J Neurosci 11:4389–4397PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Volkow ND, Wise RA (2005) How can drug addiction help us understand obesity. Nat Neurosci 8:555–561PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Wang GJ, Vollow ND, Logan J, Pappas NR, Wong CT, Zhu W et al (2001) Brain dopamine and obesity. Lancet 357:354–357PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG (2008) Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 32:20–39PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Birch LL (1999) Development of food preferences. Annu Rev Nutr 19:41–62PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Schaal B, Marlier L, Soussignan R (2000) Human foetuses learn odours from their pregnant mother’s diet. Chem Senses 25:729–737PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Mennella JA, Jagnow CP, Beauchamp GK (2001) Prenatal and postnatal flavor learning by human infants. Pediatrics 107:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Schafe GE, Bernstein IL (2001) Taste aversion learning. In: Capaldi ED (ed) Why we eat what we eat, 3rd edn. American Psychological Association, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Hausner H, Olsen A, Møller P (2012) Mere exposure and flavour–flavour learning increase 2–3 year-old children’s acceptance of a novel vegetable. Appetite 58:1152–1159PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Zajonc RB (2001) Mere exposure: a gateway to the subliminal. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 10:224–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Nicklaus S, Boggio V, Chabanet C, Issanchou S (2004) A prospective study of food preferences in childhood. Food Qual Preference 15:805–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Department of Food ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations