Neuroscience and the sound of food

 Wp-Content Uploads 2011 06 Bacon Icecram University of Oxford neuroscientist Charles Spence:
"We’ve shown that if you take something with competing flavors, something like bacon-and-egg ice cream, we were able to change people’s perception of the dominant flavor—is it bacon, or egg?—simply by playing sizzling bacon sounds or farmyard chicken noises."
"What Does Sweetness Sound Like? (Smithsonian)
The ice cream above is fake, but the research is real.


  1. Yeah, fine – But how are they going to make Pad Thai ice cream ? I mean – What’s the sound of roasted peanuts versus lime juice or noodles ? 

  2. What any flavor sounds like is a question that had me briefly scratching my head until I realized that I don’t have synesthesia. Or at least not that kind of synesthesia.

    Of course I also realize that the issue is that they weren’t changing peoples’ perceptions so much as enhancing them “by playing sizzling bacon sounds or farmyard chicken noises”.

    I wonder if restaurants will take notice of this and try to come up with sounds to enhance the dining experience. I’ve known a few people who asked for their steak rare by saying “I want it to moo”, but I don’t know if they’d really find it all that appetizing.

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