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Following on from ecological theories of perception, such as the one proposed by [Gibson, J. J. (1966). The senses considered as perceptual systems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin] this paper reviews the literature on the multisensory interactions underlying the perception of flavor in order to determine the extent to which it is really appropriate to consider flavor perception as a distinct perceptual system. We propose that the multisensory perception of flavor may be indicative of the fact that the taxonomy currently used to define our senses is simply not appropriate. According to the view outlined here, the act of eating allows the different qualities of foodstuffs to be combined into unified percepts; and flavor can be used as a term to describe the combination of tastes, smells, trigeminal, and tactile sensations as well as the visual and auditory cues, that we perceive when tasting food.

Original publication




Journal article


Conscious Cogn

Publication Date





1016 - 1031


Auditory Perception, Cues, Food, Humans, Sensation, Smell, Taste, Touch, Trigeminal Nerve, Visual Perception