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NeurogastronomyHow the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters$
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Gordon Shepherd

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159111

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159111.001.0001

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Retronasal Smell and the New Age of Flavor

Retronasal Smell and the New Age of Flavor

(p.1) Introduction Retronasal Smell and the New Age of Flavor

Gordon M. Shepherd

Columbia University Press

This introductory chapter provides the author's account of the origins of the present volume, which can be traced back to his decision to shift his focus as a neuroscientist from studying the physiology of the sense of smell to how the smells of food in his mouth produce flavor. His search for answers introduced him to many investigators working in areas unknown to one another, to the mainstream of neuroscientists, and to the general public. Among his findings is that humans have a highly developed sense of flavor due to the complex processing that occurs in the large human brain. It is this high level of processing—including systems for memory, emotion, higher cognitive processing, and especially language—that give us our unique human brain flavor system. Understanding how the brain does this constitutes a new science of flavor. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   neurogastronomy, smell, food science, brains, flavor, taste

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