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Using Sound to Enhance Taste Experiences: An Overview

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Bridging People and Sound (CMMR 2016)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNISA,volume 10525))

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Abstract

We present an overview of the recent research conducted by the first author of this article, in which the influence of sound on the perception of taste/flavor in beer is evaluated. Three studies in total are presented and discussed. These studies assessed how people match different beers with music and the influence that the latter can have on the perception and enjoyment of the beers. In general, the results revealed that in certain contexts sound can modulate the perceived strength and taste attributes of the beer as well as its associated hedonic experience. We conclude by discussing the potential mechanisms behind these taste-flavor/sound interactions, and the implications of these studies in the context of multisensory food and drink experience design. We suggest that future work may also build on cognitive neuroscience. In particular, such an approach may complement our understanding of the underlying brain mechanisms of auditory/gustatory interactions.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    By taste we refer to the basic components that are mostly captured by the tongue (sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, sourness and umami). Flavor, on the other hand, is a more complex experience that also involves, at least, retro nasal olfaction.

  2. 2.

    Link to the songs http://sonicseasoningbeer.tumblr.com/ (retrieved on March, 2016).

  3. 3.

    See http://www.editorsofficial.com/ (retrieved November 2015).

  4. 4.

    Link to the song - https://play.spotify.com/track/4yVv19QPf9WmaAmYWOrdfr?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open (retrieved January 2016).

  5. 5.

    For example, in [17]’s Table 1 - which summarizes the results of a number of studies carried out by different research groups - high spectral balance, staccato articulation, syncopated rhythm, high pitch, among others, are musical/psychoacoustic elements that correspond to sourness. Furthermore, due to the predominant piano in the second verse, the song might also be expected to have an effect on the perceived levels of sweetness.

  6. 6.

    83% of the participants reported knowing TBP (N = 191). When asked how often the participants consumed products from TBP - on a 7 point scale, with 1 corresponding to ‘never’ and 7 to ‘very often’ - the mean of their answers was 3.30 (SD 1.80). Note that, since the vast majority of the participants reported knowing TBP, in this study it was not possible to include in our data analysis control for familiarity of the beer’s brand.

  7. 7.

    A few quick notes on how chocolate works in the brain were reviewed from both of the following links. http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/chocolate-high2.htm and http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/chocolate-dopamine-3660.html (retrieved on February, 2016); see [24] for a review on mood state effects of chocolate.

  8. 8.

    Important to note here that arousal and valence are the most common ways to characterize changes in emotions. In other words, the relation between high/low arousal and positive/negative valence are used to define an emotional state.

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Correspondence to Felipe Reinoso Carvalho .

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Reinoso Carvalho, F., Touhafi, A., Steenhaut, K., van Ee, R., Velasco, C. (2017). Using Sound to Enhance Taste Experiences: An Overview. In: Aramaki, M., Kronland-Martinet, R., Ystad, S. (eds) Bridging People and Sound. CMMR 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 10525. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67738-5_19

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