Investigation of interactions between texture and ortho- and retronasal olfactory stimuli using psychophysical and electrophysiological approaches.Behav Brain Res. 2011 Jan 01; 216(1):109-15.BB
Flavor is a result of the complex combination of olfactory, gustatory and trigeminal sensations perceived during oral processing of foods, including thermal, painful, tactile and/or kinesthetic effects. Aim of this study was to better understand interactions between synchronous tactile (texture) and olfactory (odor) sensations, using a psychophysical and an electrophysiological approach. Texture stimuli were aliquots of lean milk and thickened lean milk. A butter aroma was presented either orthonasally or retronasally after oral processing and before swallowing the oral stimulus or in the absence of an oral stimulus. Eighteen subjects (11 women, 7 men, mean age 24 years), naïve to the expected effects, rated both odor and texture intensity of each stimulus. Event-related potentials (ERP) were obtained from five recording positions. For the psychophysical data, the presence of an oral stimulus increased odor intensity, irrespective of odor presentation route. For the electrophysiological data, both early and late chemosensory ERPs were affected by odor conditions, texture conditions, and their respective interaction.
(1) perceptual interactions occurred between food texture and odor, with cross-modal interactions being found for both orthonasal and retronasal odor administration, and (2) these interactions between texture and odor occur at both primary-sensory and cognitive evaluative levels of stimulus processing. The temporal dimension plays then a critical role in the investigation of odor-texture interactions.