Camilla Arndal Andersen: What happens in your brain when you taste food
Instead of asking them what they think, Camilla Arndal Andersen covers her subjects in sensors to reveal their unfiltered and subconscious response to food. Full bio
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we were out grocery shopping,
I'm talking organic,
he deemed this coffee blend superior
based solely on fancy coffee
would be in vain.
this difference after all.
that he's married to a neuroscientist
I would serve them to him
the first cup of coffee
that would be ideal for the mornings
the body awake by its alarming taste.
on the other hand,
can enjoy in the evening and relax.
the two types of coffee.
cup of coffee twice.
this one cup of coffee
from horrible to fantastic.
was a product of my husband's own mind.
that just weren't there.
our household budget,
just how we could have received
from a single cup of coffee.
make such a bold statement
for the rest of his life?
that I think you would have done the same.
in my field of science,
behind these answers
going to make food tastier
actually say they like?
at how we actually sense food.
by receptors on my body,
into activated neurons in my brain.
are converted to colors.
are detected by receptors in my mouth,
of five basic tastes.
bitter, sweet and umami.
are detected by receptors in my nose
for sound and more.
by my receptors
between neurons in my brain.
woven together and integrated,
and yes, I liked it.
this cup of coffee.
a very common misconception.
that what we experience consciously
true reflection of reality.
of neural interpretation
and the conscious experience of it.
reflecting that reality at all.
may just be so weak
to enter our conscious mind,
by our hidden biases.
right now, thinking ...
better than my husband,
those coffees correctly,
suffering from a bias.
as less biased than other people.
is the courtesy bias.
our own opinion, right?
as a food researcher,
my new sugar-reduced milkshake,
and they want to please me?
fit and healthy in my ears.
even know themselves.
and the sense of taste,
to evaluate products sweeter
because vanilla actually tastes sweet.
professionals are human,
sweetness and vanilla.
and other sensory information
in our conscious mind.
by adding vanilla instead of sugar
that sugar-reduced milkshake.
of the conscious mind
in the brain directly.
of fascinating secrets.
sensory information from our entire body,
become aware of,
that I constantly receive
on all this sensory information.
without my knowledge,
the diameter of my pupils
ever so slightly
this information in the brain.
a brain-scanning technique
studded with electrodes,
the electrical activity of the brain
that's electrically active,
as well as the environment
of electrical activity all the time.
to minimize all this noise.
to do a number of things here.
in a chin rest,
stare at the center of a computer monitor
eye movements and eye blinks.
to stick the tongue out of their mouth
taste stimuli onto the tongue,
this wonderful picture,
or blue, as they please.
eating experience, right?
what my participants are thinking about,
they're thinking about the free lunch
they're thinking about Christmas coming up
this year, you know.
is the response to the taste.
procedure multiple times.
to taste will average out.
it takes from "food lands on our tongue"
which taste it's experiencing.
already 100 milliseconds,
before we even become aware of it.
and artificial sweeteners
could only barely tell the taste apart,
the entire group of participants,
definitely could tell the taste apart.
remove the barrier of the conscious mind
subconscious taste differences.
people's very first response to food
why they like it or not.
to create tastier foods,
whether people actually like
without compromising taste,
to different sweeteners
the response that's more similar
create healthier foods,
how we actually sense food
that there are those five basic tastes,
that there are more,
we found evidence that fat,
by its texture and smell,
this new sixth basic taste.
how our brain recognizes fat and sugar,
that tastes just like the real deal?
in our gastrointestinal tract.
of our total sensation of food.
tastier and healthier foods for all.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERCamilla Arndal Andersen - Neuroscientist
Instead of asking them what they think, Camilla Arndal Andersen covers her subjects in sensors to reveal their unfiltered and subconscious response to food.
Why you should listen
Tapping into the subconsciousness, Camilla Arndal Andersen has found evidence that the brain registers even the smallest taste differences. Her work has also found evidence that fat could be a new sixth basic taste -- seemingly registered by its taste, in addition to its texture and smell.
Arndal Andersen performs these experiments at her lab in Brabrand, Denmark, and as a scientist at DuPont Nutrition and Biosciences ApS. She does it with the ultimate goal to understand how our brain registers sugar and fat, to engineer healthier food without compromising taste.
Camilla Arndal Andersen | Speaker | TED.com