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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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The Revolution in Smell and Flavor

The Revolution in Smell and Flavor

(p.11) Chapter One The Revolution in Smell and Flavor

Gordon M. Shepherd

Columbia University Press

Modern research shows that an odor sets up patterns of activity—“smell images” in our brains—that are the main basis for our perception of flavors. These smell images are hidden factors that determine most of the pleasure we get from eating, and they share the blame for the problems incurred when eating foods that are not good for us. To appreciate the importance of retronasal smell in our lives, the chapter takes a step back and looks at how far we've come in changing ideas that go back to the ancient Greeks. It discusses how the sense of smell, through its dominant role in flavor, shaped the course of world empires during human history. It also describes how the role of retronasal smell in flavor was put on the map by Paul Rozin, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, in an article in 1982.

Keywords:   sense of smell, flavor, taste, retronasal smell, Paul Rozin, orthonasal smell, human history

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