What’s New? Smell and taste memory is tuned to novelty detection
Witnesses are often asked whether they can recognize a particular person. When the same person is presented, it is much easier for them to come to a correct decision than when another person is presented. Witnesses have an especially difficult time coming to a decision when that other person has a certain similarity to the original person. In this case, identity, or one-to-one conformity is much easier for the human brain to recognize than is difference.
It is a totally different situation concerning odor and the sense of taste, flavor and texture of food. For instance, when consumers are asked whether a particular yogurt is the same as the one they always have for breakfast, they are often mistaken when the sample is in reality the identical product. But when the yogurt sample is different from the commonly eaten one, they usually recognize the difference immediately. For most people the difference is immediately apparent even when there is only a slight difference between the yogurts. This is a real challenge for food producers, since every product change brings the risk that the change will not be accepted by the consumer. Altering the taste of trusted popular food products is especially disliked by the consumer.
The same or different?
In the past, test subjects were usually asked to memorize specific smells or flavours in order to determine whether the subjects could recognize them in a later session. Since these tasks have little to do with the way a person responds in everyday life, Dutch, Danish, and French researchers around Léri Morin-Audebrand from the INRA in Dijon, France, developed more natural, “real-life” experiments. In six different studies the researchers invited the subjects to a meal. The participants were told that the purpose of the study was to measure the feeling of hunger after the meal, or that the meal had nothing to do with the experiment at hand, and was taking place because the experiment was at an “awkward” time, e.g. before and after the usual lunch hour. Thus, the researchers were able to prevent the participants from consciously trying to remember what they were eating. In the second session the participants were unexpectedly asked whether particular foods – for instance, variants of a dessert custard – were identical to the custard they had eaten at the earlier meal. With this trick the researchers were able to measure the unconscious memory processes.
Although the food variants were only slightly modified from the “original” eaten at the meal, the participants easily perceived these modifications. However, when the same custard was presented, correct answers were on the level of chance guessing. The participants felt much surer of the correctness of their negative decisions. Comparable tests with visual stimuli produce the opposite results.
Efficient warning system
Project leader Léri Morin-Audebrand concludes that, “Food memory is primarily directed towards detecting novelty and change rather than recalling previous experiences.” This makes sense, because in this way odour and flavor memory seem to have the characteristics of an efficient warning system that immediately reacts to novel information.”
It is very probable that the basic difference between the “near” senses (smell, taste, and feel) and the “far” (visual and auditory) senses is that the “near” senses react immediately to danger, whereas the “far” senses take time to identify and react to perceived danger.
Thus, novelty detection seems to play a dominant role in the “near” senses which are involved in such essential activities as breathing and eating. Morin-Audebrand states that, “When these senses register a potential danger, the body is already in contact with the danger and can protect itself only through an immediate reaction, e.g. fleeing from an odour, or immediately spitting out a “bad” tasting piece of food. In these cases there is no time or need for identification. Implicit food memory primarily has a warning function.” With these non-verbal memory processes there is no significant difference between men and women. This was also the case concerning different age groups.
The EUROPEAN SENSORY NETWORK (ESN; www.esn-network.com) is an international association of leading academic and research institutions in the field of sensory and consumer sciences. Presently the network comprises 26 member organisations from 21 countries. ESN members share their knowledge and work towards standard methodologies.
EUROPEAN SENSORY NETWORK - press office
Dr. Ina Schicker, Weidachstr. 32, 87629 Füssen, Germany
Phone: ++49 (0) 83 62 - 92 33 38
Fax: ++49 (0) 83 62 - 92 33 39
This release was published on openPR.
Permanent link to this press release:
Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.
You can edit or delete your press release What’s New? Smell and taste memory is tuned to novelty detection here
News-ID: 210414 • Views: 2338
More Releases from European Sensory Network
Olive Oil in Context: TDS uncovers complex interactions
December 2012 - Using the Temporal Dominance of Sensations (TDS) method, the tasting experience that develops over a longer period can be traced. In this way it is possible to comprehend aspects that are not reflected in static sensory profiles. In a recent study on olive oil, Italian researchers demonstrated the advantages of TDS. Good quality olive oil is a basic foodstuff in many countries encompassing the Mediterranean Sea. In the
Deciding At First Glance - Tracking eye-movements reveals what grabs the consume …
Despite the overabundance of offers on today’s grocery shelves, most consumers decide whether or not to buy a product within seconds after glancing at the assortments. To be successful, a product must grab the consumer’s attention as quickly as possible, and at the same time be persuasive. To see if this is the case, eye-movement registration and tachistocopic research can be used. Irouchka Moyersoen of the Belgian Sensory and Consumer
European Sensory Network invites industries as partners at the cutting edge of s …
Since its foundation, the key aims of the European Sensory Network (ESN) have been to improve sensory and consumer research methodology for the benefit of industry and to promote the application of sensory analysis methods in the industry. To help support these aims, the ESN is now offering a direct ESN-Industry Network Partnership with the express purpose of collaborating more closely with industry in the research and development of innovative
New Members from Europe and the Middle East: The European Sensory Network welcom …
January, 2008: The European Sensory Network (ESN), an international association of experts in the fields of sensory and consumer research, has accepted two new members into its ranks. The firms of ROGIL (situated in Heverlee, Belgium) and ANALYST (from Hamam St. Rehovot, Israel) have passed the admission requirements with flying colours: their sensory and consumer research methods and methodology was shown to be of the highest quality. The two companies presented
More Releases for Witnesses
Cryocooler Market Witnesses Impressive Growth with Rising Demand
Cryocooler Market: Introduction Cryocooler is a device which is used for providing active cooling at a cryogenic temperature of around -150 degrees Celsius. Cryocooler follows some thermodynamics techniques which are utilized at the time of cryocooling. The average capacity of cryocooler is around 100W, while a cryoplant has a capacity of 500W. Cryogenic fluids such helium and nitrogen are used for cryocooling. The capability of a cryocooler to cools its internal
Inspection Cameras Market Witnesses Impressive Growth with Rising Demand
Inspection camera, or the borescope, is a type of instrument which functions like a camera, telescope, or microscope. It is used for the purpose of observing areas which are excessively cramped, very far away, or completely out of reach. An inspection camera has a black and white or color display; some of them are also detachable for the purpose of remote viewing - which is attached to a flexible shaft
Global Consumer Packaging Market Witnesses Rising Popularity of Rigid Plastics
The global market for consumer packaging is the focus of analysis of a recent report by Transparency Market Research. The report, titled “Consumer Packaging Market - Global Industry Analysis, Market Size, Share, Trends, Analysis, Growth, and Forecast 2016–2024,” presents a thorough analytical overview of the market and its future growth prospects. The market is expected to expand at a healthy pace over the report’s forecast period owing to the thriving
LOW-E Glass Market - Market Witnesses Lucrative Prospects
This report studies LOW-E Glass in Global market, especially in United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Russia, China, Japan, India, Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, Brazil, Middle East and Africa, focuses on the top Manufacturers in each country, covering Request a sample copy of Report @ http://www.orbisresearch.com/contacts/request-sample/189654 Saint-gobain NSG PPG AGC Guardian Industries Schott Cardinal Glass Padihamglass CSG Holding Xinyi Glass Yaohua Pilkington Glass Taiwan Glass Blue Star Glass Sanxin
Commercial Refrigerators Market - Market Witnesses Lucrative Prospects
The commercial refrigerators market in Asia Pacific will continue to rise, with China leading the market from the front, Transparency Market Research says. As the region faces the mushrooming of convenience stores, hypermarkets, super markets, grocery shops, and restaurants, the installation of commercial refrigerators is expected to rise considerably in the forthcoming years. Along with this, the conspicuous demand for energy-efficient solutions will pave the way for research and development
Better Homes witnesses a positive market reaction
Better Homes, the region's largest real estate agency, has witnessed some positive results over the past two weeks, where both general enquiries and transactions are on the rise, after a dip in recent months in light of the affect the global financial crisis has had on the UAE. Better Homes has engaged in a number of promotions and campaigns throughout the first half of 2009, where it has focused on offering