Beyond the Tongue: making sense of taste

Published 6 June 2021 in Ferment Magazine

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In this article I talk to psychologist Prof. Charles Spence on at how our sense of taste is influenced by way more than what goes on inside our mouths.

For instance, we now know that loud music in bars makes us drink faster, and drink more. What isn’t clear is why this happens. It might simply be that the loud music hampers conversation, so there’s not much left to do but drink. Or there could be something deeper at work. It could be that the noise itself alters the way we experience our drinks. For instance we know it becomes harder to discriminate the alcohol content of our drinks as background noise increases. And psychologists reckon noise may even change the way we experience the flavour of our drinks.

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