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Chem Senses. 2005 Sep;30(7):539-45. Epub 2005 Jul 27.

Temporal synchrony and integration of sub-threshold taste and smell signals.

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Samworth Flavour Laboratory, Division of Food Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough LE12 5RD, UK.


The importance of stimulus timing and location on the perceptual integration of taste and odour was studied based on a sub-threshold methodology. From a panel of 16 people, 12 showed the integration effect previously reported while 4 showed no effect. The experiment was repeated using retronasal and orthonasal delivery of the odour and with tastant present or absent in the mouth. Integration of taste and odour only occurred when both stimuli were present at the same time. Retro- or orthonasal presentation both produced integration providing that tastant delivery was synchronous but the threshold values for the two presentation methods were different. The relevance of these findings to flavour perception under realistic conditions is considered.

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