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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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Flavor and Memory

Flavor and Memory

Reinterpreting Proust

(p.174) Chapter Twenty Flavor and Memory

Gordon M. Shepherd

Columbia University Press

This chapter uses the iconic tale of Proust and his madeleine cookie to highlight the power of smell and flavor to evoke memories and the emotions associated with them. In Remembrance of Things Past Proust describes how the aroma of a tea-soaked biscuit called a madeleine brought back a powerful memory of his childhood. This has become a cliché for the memory that springs suddenly and purely into mind after a long period of forgetting. The chapter explains how the olfactory cortex gives rise to multiple pathways that connect directly to the so-called limbic regions of the brain. These are the phylogenetically old regions of the brain that are involved in the mediation of both memories and emotions.

Keywords:   smell, flavor, memories, emotions, Proust, madeleine cookie, taste, olfactory cortex

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