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What you see here can be interpreted as either a duck or it can be seen as a rabbit.
Once you know the two possible interpretations, your mind will say...
Duck and then rabbit and then duck and then rabbit back and forth back and forth.
There are many of these bistable illusions out there in psychology books, but very few of them have made it into the world of cuisine.
What happens when you eat a bistable image?
Does what you see on the plate bias what you taste?
Eating is one of the most multisensory activities that we as human beings take part in on a daily basis.
Sound can augment our perception of flavor and taste.
We eat first with our eyes. The visual aspects of food are really important.
People will assign the same colors to the same tastes.
White for being salty, black for being bitter, green for being sour, and red for being sweet.
Equally as important, weight of the cutlery, the aroma.
I just don't think we understand how many of our senses are engaged when we're eating.
That's where the real world research comes in, trying to show the impact of a wine glass or the cutlery you use.
A lot of the research that we do around food and flavor, relies on some of the more surprising connections between our senses.
We had people tasting potato chips and each time they bit into one, we changed the sound of that crunch in real time.
And by so doing we're able to show that we can make that potato chip or in fact any crunchy crispy food, it could be an apple or a carrot say.
We can make those foods appear fresher and tastier and more enjoyable simply by boosting the sound of the crunch.
Bistable perception has been a phenomenon of great interest to the vision scientists for more than a century.
But what about bistability in the chemical senses, in particular in what we smell and what we taste?
We decided to try and bring this element of visual illusion into the dining experience.
And we did this by literally putting the illusion on the plate.
And when tasting the little duck and rabbit terrine that we'd made, if you see the duck first, does it taste more of duck.
And if you see the rabbit first, does it taste more rabbit.
You may say, why should I care? It doesn't have anything to do with me.
It misses the point that it's precisely because those insights first found in this rabbit innovation space can then be used as a springboard out there into the real world.
There's some really serious research here that could help in designing food experiences in hospitals, in care homes, in schools, even.
Particularly when it comes to things like obesity and malnutrition.
There are some great studies out there now showing that you can increase by as much as a third the amount of food that these under-fed patients are eating in hospital.
Simply by switching from a white plate to a high contrast blue or red plate.
We know that kind of rounded shapes are more typically associated with sweetness.
So we take this nice kind of round plastic pot and fill it with something really red really vibrant and enticing.
We could put a little aroma inside so they get this woosh of kind of sweet banana or sweet strawberry.
Maybe just by tweaking some of these kind of sensory elements, we could reduce the amount of sugar in the dessert by about 10 percent.
Very good. And don't forget you go across.
Having a young son and knowing that there are children around the world that are classed as obese, it kind of makes you want to do something about it.
Will you break some eggs so we can make an omelet?
What they need is to discover and explore foods using all of their senses.
- What sounds are making now? - It's like sizzling.
Bite it. And then close your ears.
It's really crunchy, isn't it?
That is a surefire way of engaging children with a more positive relationship with food.
- I'm looking forward to this. - Me, too.
Children are our best hope of building a more sustainable future in food.
And doing this in a sensory way will give them a rich appreciation.
I like what it tastes like, what the texture is.
And a more mindful appreciation for the enjoyment and satiety that one can derive from food.
What is important?
That you enjoy your food.
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Visual illusions that could trick our tastebuds and persuade us to eat healthier

2391 Folder Collection
Jessieeee published on July 19, 2019    Jessieeee translated    Evangeline reviewed
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