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The influence of music on the perception of food-taste and pleasantness




Speaker: Vania Bajic, PhD in Applied Psychology, University of Kent


Western diets are rich in calorie dense foods high in sugar, salt and fat. This, combined with a lack of exercise, has contributed to the dramatic rise in overweight and obesity in recent years. The fact that food cravings are often associated with food palatability adds to the difficulties posed by low calorie diets and special food regimes recommended for overweight and obese individuals. Finding novel and creative ways to improve food taste and palatability could provide valuable support to the current effort to reduce the prevalence of overeating and overweight conditions.

This experiment investigates whether music could be used to modify the perception of food taste and in that way exert influence over eating behaviours and outcomes. More specifically, it examines whether listening to sweet-taste-congruent and bitter-taste-congruent soundtracks while eating can modify the perception of food-taste and food-pleasantness. The findings demonstrate the effects of taste-congruent soundtracks on the perception of food taste as well as food pleasantness. The prospect of using sound to influence food acceptance and palatability looks encouraging and merits further investigation.

About the author

Vaniareceived her PhD in Applied Psychology from the University of Kent in 2018. Her thesis investigates the possibility of using music to influence eating behaviors and eating outcomes such as the perception of food-taste, food-pleasantness and the speed of mastication. Prior to that Vania obtained an MSc (2013) in Applied Music Psychology from Roehampton University. In the same year she was awarded the Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). Vania has over 20 years of experience in the field of music, both as a teacher and a performer. She is a full member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (FISM).

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When and where

12.30pm - 2.00pmMonday 15th April 2019

MG26 Myddelton Street Building City, University of London 1 Myddelton Street London EC1R 1UW United Kingdom