Just looking at images of food can change our taste experience, according to research published Mar. 14 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
The authors of the study, led by Johannes le Coutre of the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland, found that participants reported tastes to be more pleasant when preceded by images of high-calorie foods, such as pizza or pastry, as compared to low-calorie foods like watermelon or green beans.
The researchers conducted neuroimaging studies that identified previously unknown brain mechanisms of visual-gustatory sensory interactions involved with food enjoyment.
Taken together, the study highlights the importance of visual food appeal as one determinant for nutritional reward.
The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
- Kathrin Ohla, Ulrike Toepel, Johannes le Coutre, Julie Hudry. Visual-Gustatory Interaction: Orbitofrontal and Insular Cortices Mediate the Effect of High-Calorie Visual Food Cues on Taste Pleasantness. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (3): e32434 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032434
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