Psi Chi EPA Distinguished Lecturer
Why Do We Like Some Foods and Hate Others? Can We Do Anything About It?
Dr. Linda Bartoshuk
University of Florida
TopicThe effect of liking and disliking foods is primarily mediated by taste and olfaction, particularly retronasal olfaction (odors produced by foods forced into the nasal cavity by chewing and swallowing). The effect of flavor (taste plus retronasal olfaction) is a combination of the hard-wired effect of taste and the learned effect of retronasal olfaction. Supertaster status influences these interactions; taste modifers (miracle fruit, gymnema sylvestre) reveal their magnitude. These effects will be demonstrated during the lecture.
Dr. Linda Bartoshuk, Bushnell Professor at the University of Florida, is director of Human Research for the UF Center for Smell and Taste, and has been elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. She is past president of EPA, Divisions 1 and 6 of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Association for Chemoreception Sciences. Bartoshuk and her students have studied genetic variation in taste as well as patients with taste disorders (using anesthesia to simulate these disorders in normal controls). Older psychophysical methods (category and VAS) were not designed to compare different groups of individuals; Bartoshuk and her students needed such comparisons (e.g., patients vs controls) and so developed new sensory and hedonic scaling tools. Most recently, Bartoshuk has collaborated with colleagues in horticulture to increase the palatability of fruits and vegetables. That work serendipitously led to a new way to sweeten foods/beverages that may reduce dependence on sugar and artificial sweeteners.