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Thought for food: Cognitive influences on chemosensory perceptions and preferences

Abstract : Sensory and consumer research often focuses more on bottom-up than top-down influences on consumers' perception and acceptance of foods. Yet, cognitive processes create and transform incoming sensory information originating from separate senses, including olfaction, gustation, and somatosensation, into the perception of flavour. The present paper discusses five cognitive processes that affect human chemosensory perception and responses to food flavours: Attention, language, memory, learning, and metacognition. It is argued that each of these processes are important in shaping interactions with food via the chemical senses. Attention moderates perception through its distribution across the environment, fine-tuning it for particular stimuli. Interactions among smells, tastes, and textures are acquired through learning, as are hedonic properties. Language affects food acceptability and preference, as does the memory of prior experiences with a food, even when they are not at a conscious level of processing. Metacognitive knowledge of personal capabilities indirectly influences the results of sensory evaluations. Future sensory and consumer research should take into account the significant role that these cognitive factors play in processing incoming chemosensory information.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 2:55:35 PM
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Theresa White, Thierry Thomas-Danguin, Jonas Olofsson, Gesualdo Zucco, John Prescott. Thought for food: Cognitive influences on chemosensory perceptions and preferences. Food Quality and Preference, Elsevier, 2020, 79, pp.103776. ⟨10.1016/j.foodqual.2019.103776⟩. ⟨hal-02566922⟩



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