Cognitive Keys in Psychophysical Estimation of Chemosensory Perception in University Students
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DepartmentDidáctica de la Educación Física, Plástica y Musical
SourceFoods, Vol. 10, Núm. 12
Psychophysical methods allow us to measure the relationship between stimuli and sensory perception. Of these, Detection Threshold (DT) allows us to know the minimum concentration to produce taste identification. Given this, we wonder whether, for example, wine tasting experts are more capable of perceiving their sensory properties than other people, or whether they can distinguish them because they are better able to “describe” them. To verify this, this study analyses the influence of having prior knowledge of the name astringency and, failing that, to detect it and distinguish it between the four basic tastes. One-hundred-and-sixty-two university students with an average age of 19.43 (SD = 2.55) years were assigned to three experimental conditions: an experimental group (G.2) without previous knowledge of the name astringency and with alimentary satiety, and two control groups, both with previous knowledge of the name, these being G.1, with satiety, and G.3, with hunger. DT was collected for the four basic tastes and astringencies. Results showed significant differences in the identification of astringency, being the least identified experimental group with respect to the control groups. It is striking that G.2, without prior knowledge of the name, identified astringency as a bitter taste in most cases. This supports our hypothesis of the importance of attending to linguistic cognitive processes when psychophysically estimating taste in humans.