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Appetite. 2011 Dec;57(3):615-22. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.07.006. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

Alliesthesia is greater for odors of fatty foods than of non-fat foods.

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Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation, UMR 6265 CNRS, UMR 1324 INRA, Université de Bourgogne, Agrosup Dijon, F-21000 Dijon, France.


Alliesthesia is the modulation of the rewarding value of a stimulus according to the internal state (hungry or satiated). This study aimed to evaluate this phenomenon as a function of the nature of the stimulus (odors evoking edible and non-edible items, and the food odors evoking fatty and non-fat foods) and to compare the effectiveness of two reward evaluations (measures of pleasantness and appetence) to reveal alliesthesia. The results showed that both fatty and non-fat food odors were judged as less pleasant and less appetent when the subjects were satiated than when they were hungry, whereas no such difference was observed for non-food odors. There was a greater decrease in appetence than there was in pleasantness. Moreover, the decrease in appetence was greater for fatty than for non-fat food odors, whereas the decrease in pleasantness was similar for both fatty and non-fat food odors. Our study allows for the definition of a more comprehensive pattern of alliesthesia based on odor category. It demonstrates that alliesthesia is specific to food odors and that it is more pronounced when odors are associated with fatty rather than non-fat foods. It also reveals that an appetence measure is more sensitive than a pleasantness measure for describing an acute reward modulation process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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