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An fMRI study on the influence of sommeliers' expertise on the integration of flavor.

Pazart L, Comte A, Magnin E, Millot JL, Moulin T - Front Behav Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: The results revealed activations in the brain areas involved in sensory integration, both in experts and control subjects (insula, frontal operculum, orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala).However, experts were mainly characterized by a more immediate and targeted sensory reaction to wine stimulation with an economic mechanism reducing effort than control subjects.These results also confirm that wine experts work simultaneously on sensory quality assessment and on label recognition of wine.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Inserm Clinical Investigation Centre 1431, Clinical Investigation Centre, Besançon University Hospital Besancon, France.

ABSTRACT
Flavors guide consumers' choice of foodstuffs, preferring those that they like and meet their needs, and dismissing those for which they have a conditioned aversion. Flavor affects the learning and consumption of foods and drinks; what is already well-known is favored and what is new is apprehended. The flavor of foodstuffs is also crucial in explaining some eating behaviors such as overconsumption. The "blind" taste test of wine is a good model for assessing the ability of people to convert mouth feelings into flavor. To determine the relative importance of memory and sensory capabilities, we present the results of an fMRI neuro-imaging study involving 10 experts and 10 matched control subjects using wine as a stimulus in a blind taste test, focusing primarily on the assessment of flavor integration. The results revealed activations in the brain areas involved in sensory integration, both in experts and control subjects (insula, frontal operculum, orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala). However, experts were mainly characterized by a more immediate and targeted sensory reaction to wine stimulation with an economic mechanism reducing effort than control subjects. Wine experts showed brainstem and left-hemispheric activations in the hippocampal and parahippocampal formations and the temporal pole, whereas control subjects showed activations in different associative cortices, predominantly in the right hemisphere. These results also confirm that wine experts work simultaneously on sensory quality assessment and on label recognition of wine.

No MeSH data available.


Beta-value averages for the areas involved in flavor, based on Table 2. For each area from a group, the average values are given for the experts Group (red) and the Controls group (blue). The error bars indicate standard error. All regions of interest are from the Controls group, except for the two marked with * which are taken from the experts.
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Figure 2: Beta-value averages for the areas involved in flavor, based on Table 2. For each area from a group, the average values are given for the experts Group (red) and the Controls group (blue). The error bars indicate standard error. All regions of interest are from the Controls group, except for the two marked with * which are taken from the experts.

Mentions: Control subjects showed predominant activations in the right hemisphere. Temporal activations were more numerous than in the previous phase but no hippocampal or parahippocampal activations were observed. Frontal, parietal and occipital regions were involved to a lesser degree than previously and may have corresponded to the persistence of ineffective retrieval strategies. In control subjects, the anterior insula was only activated in the after-taste phase, whereas in experts, sensory integration-related regions were no longer activated during this phase. This result indicates that experts showed a more immediate and targeted sensory reaction to wine stimulation than control subjects (Figure 2).


An fMRI study on the influence of sommeliers' expertise on the integration of flavor.

Pazart L, Comte A, Magnin E, Millot JL, Moulin T - Front Behav Neurosci (2014)

Beta-value averages for the areas involved in flavor, based on Table 2. For each area from a group, the average values are given for the experts Group (red) and the Controls group (blue). The error bars indicate standard error. All regions of interest are from the Controls group, except for the two marked with * which are taken from the experts.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4199283&req=5

Figure 2: Beta-value averages for the areas involved in flavor, based on Table 2. For each area from a group, the average values are given for the experts Group (red) and the Controls group (blue). The error bars indicate standard error. All regions of interest are from the Controls group, except for the two marked with * which are taken from the experts.
Mentions: Control subjects showed predominant activations in the right hemisphere. Temporal activations were more numerous than in the previous phase but no hippocampal or parahippocampal activations were observed. Frontal, parietal and occipital regions were involved to a lesser degree than previously and may have corresponded to the persistence of ineffective retrieval strategies. In control subjects, the anterior insula was only activated in the after-taste phase, whereas in experts, sensory integration-related regions were no longer activated during this phase. This result indicates that experts showed a more immediate and targeted sensory reaction to wine stimulation than control subjects (Figure 2).

Bottom Line: The results revealed activations in the brain areas involved in sensory integration, both in experts and control subjects (insula, frontal operculum, orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala).However, experts were mainly characterized by a more immediate and targeted sensory reaction to wine stimulation with an economic mechanism reducing effort than control subjects.These results also confirm that wine experts work simultaneously on sensory quality assessment and on label recognition of wine.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Inserm Clinical Investigation Centre 1431, Clinical Investigation Centre, Besançon University Hospital Besancon, France.

ABSTRACT
Flavors guide consumers' choice of foodstuffs, preferring those that they like and meet their needs, and dismissing those for which they have a conditioned aversion. Flavor affects the learning and consumption of foods and drinks; what is already well-known is favored and what is new is apprehended. The flavor of foodstuffs is also crucial in explaining some eating behaviors such as overconsumption. The "blind" taste test of wine is a good model for assessing the ability of people to convert mouth feelings into flavor. To determine the relative importance of memory and sensory capabilities, we present the results of an fMRI neuro-imaging study involving 10 experts and 10 matched control subjects using wine as a stimulus in a blind taste test, focusing primarily on the assessment of flavor integration. The results revealed activations in the brain areas involved in sensory integration, both in experts and control subjects (insula, frontal operculum, orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala). However, experts were mainly characterized by a more immediate and targeted sensory reaction to wine stimulation with an economic mechanism reducing effort than control subjects. Wine experts showed brainstem and left-hemispheric activations in the hippocampal and parahippocampal formations and the temporal pole, whereas control subjects showed activations in different associative cortices, predominantly in the right hemisphere. These results also confirm that wine experts work simultaneously on sensory quality assessment and on label recognition of wine.

No MeSH data available.