Five senses. All human came to the world with five senses (at least, because some people talk about six or seven of them). These senses allow humans to have perception of the universe and make the right decision to interact with it. But, as we know, senses can be misled: what you see is not necessary something existing (ghost stories are too numerous to think we can see all right), your taste is merely a disguised smell, while almost 90% of the taste came from your nose, and not from your tongue.

Most of you have already heard about this fact, but do you knew that your taste is actually influenced by your ears, too?

First example: you are in a fast-food restaurant, surrounded by children’s loud voices, loud music, loud screams of a manager, reprimanding his worker… It makes a lot of “loud” things. Well, a recent study discovered that a noisy environment decreased the capability of someone to correctly gauge salt or sugar levels with your taste, and so how sweet your food taste.

A pleasant place for eating, of course...

In fact, neurons that are connected to ears have some kind of priority to the neurons connected to the tongue and the nose. So, when your ears are overwhelmed by noises, the information coming from them is compressed and only a part of it reaches the decisional section of your brain. That’s why an awful sandwich can taste like a great dinner.

This priority can be explained simply: back to prehistoric times, hearing a creature charging at you is way safer than thinking of how a berry taste. This genetic specification persists today, and continues to be useful (hearing a car coming from the street while drinking a cup of coffee: what sense is the most useful here?).

The impact of the noise on your taste is particularly sensible with wine. Wine is known as a very tasty drink, very complete on the variety of taste you can have while drinking it. A study head by the Heriot Watt University proved that the way the wine taste can be distorted up to 60%. It can explain why bar tenders rising sound in their establishment.

Wine is also a science, right ?

On the other hand, a completely silent environment isn’t the most appropriate one for eating: an environment like this is almost as nerve-racking as a louder one. The best decibel level for eating is around 62 to 67 db, according to scientists. It’s almost the volume for a normal conversation. A common situation, as well as calm.

The conclusion for all of this? Our brain is a true ball of wool where every string can be connected to another. For our sake.

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  1. A very informative article!

    I believe I spotted a few mistakes in your text: when you write « This fact, most of you hear about it », you could write « Most of you have already heard about this fact ». « the volume for a normal conversation » could also be written « the volume of a normal conversation ».

  2. Hi !

    Do you think what is true with the wine is true with other foods ? I mean, if you eat a good meal with bad music, does the meal becomes disgusting ?

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