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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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How the Mouth Fools the Brain

How the Mouth Fools the Brain

(p.28) Chapter Three How the Mouth Fools the Brain

Gordon M. Shepherd

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses how the mouth fools the brain into thinking it is producing all the flavor. The ability to identify types of flavor, such as lemon or strawberry, is attributable to retronasal smell, which works in conjunction with the senses of taste and touch. But because of the fusion between smell, taste, and touch, not only is smell not recognized as a part of flavor, the flavor is not even recognized as coming from the nose. Rather, it is perceived as coming solely from the mouth. Why should this be? Where else do we have a sense that is divided into two and one of them is hidden among other senses? Scientists are only beginning to realize that this is an interesting problem for psychology, for neuroscience in general—and for determining the food we buy and consume.

Keywords:   flavor, taste, mouth, human brain, restronasal smell, sense of smell

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