Emotional and electrophysiological measures correlate to flavour perception in the presence of music

Kevin Kantono, Nazimah Hamid, Daniel Shepherd, Yi Hsuan Tiffany Lin, Selma Skiredj, B. Thomas Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Research into the influence of auditory cues upon food perception has increased in the past decade. Mechanisms evoked to explain crossmodal interactions between the auditory and gustatory senses include attentional, emotional, and affective mediators. In this study, the Temporal Dominance of Sensations (TDS) method was utilised to document the changes in taste and flavour of chocolate gelato while participants listened to music. After each TDS trial, the participants rated their emotions using intensity scales. Additionally, electrophysiological measures including heart rate, respiration rate, and skin conductance were obtained. As anticipated, listening to liked music evoked positive emotions (enjoyment, happiness, love, and satisfaction), while disliked music elicited negative emotions (disappointment, and disgust). No significant difference in terms of respiration parameters were observed while listening to music differing in liking. When compared to neutral and liked music, listening to disliked music exhibited the greatest change in skin conductance. Additionally, neutrally liked music significantly decreased blood volume pulse amplitude, while listening to liked music significantly increased heart rate. Partial Least Square Regression (PLSR) analysis was employed to explore associations between electrophysiological and sensory measures. Skin conductance and cardiovascular measures were both linked to the perception of gelato. Partial Least Square Path Modelling (PLS-PM) was also utilised to investigate the relationships between the electrophysiological measures, subjective ratings of emotion, and perception. The PLS-PM model showed that changes in cardiac and skin conductance measures were correlated with subjectively-rated emotions. Furthermore, these self-reported emotions evoked by music were significantly correlated with flavour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2019


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