Taste

Cognitive Daily

Category archives for Taste

Can anyone learn to taste wine?

Any serious wine drinker will tell you she can distinguish between inexpensive, low-quality wine and the fancy premium-priced stuff. She may also claim the ability to discern the difference between wine made from different grapes, or produced in different regions of the world. Yet some studies have found that even so-called experts are unable to…

At least once or twice a week at dinnertime, our family has what we call a “harmony meal.” Jim and Nora are good eaters with broad tastes, but they both (along with me and Greta) also have some foods they don’t like. A harmony meal is a meal where everyone in the family likes every…

Do smells have an impact on how we judge people? Certainly if someone smells bad, we may have a negative impression of the person. But what if the smell is so subtle we don’t consciously notice it? Research results have been mixed, with some studies actually reporting that we like people more when in the…

Both Greta and I are big wine fans. Despite Jonah’s recent extremely popular post, I, at least, believe that I can tell the difference between good and bad wines. I’m still convinced that a good wine is more than just an attractive label (though I’m a sucker for labels with Zinfandel puns like “Zen of…

This article was originally posted on May 10, 2006 Recent research suggests that one of the reasons that as many as 97 percent of women and 68 percent of men experience food cravings is because of visual representations of food. When we picture food in our minds, our desire for the food increases. So why…

One “trick” dieters often use is to put their food on a smaller plate. The idea is to fool yourself into thinking you’re eating more food than you really are. But doesn’t our stomach tell us how full we are? Actually, it doesn’t. Brian Wansink has devoted his career to studying how perception of food…

Conventional wisdom has it that giving young children chocolate will cause them to become fidgety. This belief is so pervasive that many parents won’t give their kids candy within several hours of bedtime, convinced their children won’t be able to sleep. After Halloween, many parents ration their kids’ candy consumption, again based at least partly…

Cognitive Daily would not exist without chocolate. Every week, I buy a bag of chocolate covered raisins, and I portion them out precisely each day so that I’ve finished them by all by (casual) Friday. I try to time my consumption to coincide with the most difficult part of the job: reporting on peer-reviewed journal…

Tired of all the hoopla about the Blogger SAT Challenge? Do you not want to hear another word about Booker T. Washington and why he is or is not like George W. Bush? Then have I got a study for you: Yolanda Martins and Patricia Pliner have conducted a fascinating experiment about food preferences —…

Taste + Smell = Crazy Delicious!

Synesthesia — the ability to experience a sensation like vision in another mode, like hearing — is thought to be quite rare. Yet all of us have the ability to combine sensory modes, and we do it every day. The modes we combine just happen to be ones we don’t think about as often: taste…