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Public PhD Defense of David Guedes



David Guedes, a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Program in Psychology, will defend the thesis titled "Psychological sweetening: Multisensory interactions shaping sweet taste perception". The public defense is scheduled for April 3, 2024, 14:30 at room B327 (Building 4) of Iscte-University Institute of Lisbon.



Abstract

Recent research has demonstrated that audition can shape the perception of foods/drinks. In this context, the concept of sonic seasoning has been put forward as the way by which sounds may be deliberately selected to be congruent with specific taste/flavor sensations and, consequently, modify their salience in the sensory matrix of foods/drinks. In this work, we focus particularly on the possibility of modulating sweet taste perception through music. To this end, we present a collection of six articles, including (a) a systematic review on sound-taste interactions and their implications for taste perception (Study 1); a norming study exploring the associations between music and taste and emotional/affective dimensions (Study 2); a collection of experimental studies showing (c) that music can impact sweet taste sensitivity (Study 3); (d) the bidirectionality of sound-taste interactions (Study 4), namely that music emphasizes the sweet taste in food with an ambiguous flavor profile (Experiments 1a and 1b) and its evaluation is influenced by gustatory stimulation (Experiment 2); (e) the prominence of sweet taste associations (cross-modality) over positive valence (affect) in how music shapes the sensory and hedonic evaluation of foods (Study 5); (f) the potential of music to improve the sensory and hedonic evaluation of products with varying sugar content (Study 6). This project contributes to a better understanding of theoretical and methodological questions underlying sonic seasoning and reinforces the potential of music in improving the sensory evaluation and acceptance of products with low-sugar content.

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