Neurogastronomy How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters

ISBN-10: 0231159110

ISBN-13: 9780231159111

Edition: 2013

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Description: Leading neuroscientist Gordon M. Shepherd embarks on a paradigm-shifting trip through the "human brain flavor system," laying the foundations for a new scientific field: neurogastronomy. Challenging the belief that the sense of smell diminished during human evolution, Shepherd argues that this sense, which constitutes the main component of flavor, is far more powerful and essential than previously believed.Shepherd begins Neurogastronomy with the mechanics of smell, particularly the way it stimulates the nose from the back of the mouth. As we eat, the brain conceptualizes smells as spatial patterns, and from these and the other senses it constructs the perception of flavor. Shepherd then considers the impact of the flavor system on contemporary social, behavioral, and medical issues. He analyzes flavor's engagement with the brain regions that control emotion, food preferences, and cravings, and he even devotes a section to food's role in drug addiction and, building on Marcel Proust's iconic tale of the madeleine, its ability to evoke deep memories. Shepherd connects his research to trends in nutrition, dieting, and obesity, especially the challenges that many face in eating healthily. He concludes with human perceptions of smell and flavor and their relationship to the neural basis of consciousness. Everyone from casual diners and ardent foodies to wine critics, chefs, scholars, and researchers will delight in Shepherd's fascinating, scientific-gastronomic adventures.

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Book details

List price: $18.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 7/23/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.078
Language: English

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Retronasal Smell and the New Age of Flavor
Noses and Smells
The Revolution in Smell and Flavor
Dogs, Humans, and Retronasal Smell
How the Mouth Fools the Brain
The Molecules of Flavor
Making Pictures of Smells
Smell Receptors for Smell Molecules
Forming a Sensory Image
Images of Smell: An "Aha" Moment
A Smell Is Like a Face
Pointillist Images of Smell
Enhancing the Image
Creating, Learning, and Remembering Smell
Creating Flavor
Smell and Flavor
Taste and Flavor
Mouth-Sense and Flavor
Seeing and Flavor
Hearing and Flavor
The Muscles of Flavor
Putting It Together: The Human Brain Flavor System
Why It Matters
Flavor and Emotions
Flavor and Memory: Reinterpreting Proust
Flavor and Obesity
Decisions and the Neuroeconomics of Flavor and Nutrition
Plasticity in the Human Brain Flavor System
Smell, Flavor, and Language
Smell, Flavor, and Consciousness
Smell and Flavor in Human Evolution
Why Flavor Matters
Bibliography
Index
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