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The Psychology of Flavour$
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Richard Stevenson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199539352

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199539352.001.0001

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Causes of flavour interaction

Causes of flavour interaction

(p.61) Chapter 3 Causes of flavour interaction
The Psychology of Flavour

Richard J. Stevenson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the distal and proximal basis of the interactions between and within the flavour senses that were identified in Chapter 2 as having a psychological basis. For unimodal interactions within taste, and within smell, these revealed rather different outcomes in each case. Taste components remain largely identifiable and component suppression (i.e., the principal type of interaction) may arise from the way in which the nervous system deals with stimulus range (response compression). For smell, whilst response compression may occur, synthetic processing restricts conscious access to the component odourants that make up a mixture. For auditory-tactile interactions and the perception of creaminess, both serve to identify particular salient features of flavour. In both these cases, a functional benefit of multisensory processing was apparent ‘in the mouth’ — for the former case, determining the freshness of food and, in the latter case, its probable fat content.

Keywords:   taste, smell, auditory-tactile interactions, odour-taste interactions, creaminess, fat content

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