Food. Whether you are about to sit down to at a fancy restaurant with your significant other, join your family and friends at a backyard BBQ, or watch some TV while eating a good home cooked meal alone (in my case a microwave dinner), we can all agree that food is not only necessary to our survival but something that enriches our lives. What’s your favorite part about food? Take cookies, do you like the feel of those soft cookies crumbling as you take that first bite? Maybe you’re like me and the smell of fresh dough is the best part. Or are you like many who love the taste of fresh baked cookies? Have you ever wondered if your sense of sound effects your ability to taste?
As humans, we use all 5 of our senses to interact with every day things around us. When you use two or more of your senses to perceive a given thing or activity, it’s called cross modal. This happens all the time, especially when you eat. Did you know that your hearing plays a rather large part in your ability to taste? I didn’t know that.
Take, for example, drinking a soda. What’s the first image that comes to mind? Probably a picture of your favorite soda. For me it’s Coke. I would bet that the second thing you recall is the crack of that soda can and the fizzing bubbly sound you hear as you poor the soda into your glass? That sound you hear is not only a way in which we recall the idea of drinking a soda, but also our ability to perceive the taste.
Charles Spence, head of the University of Oxford’s Cross Modal Research Laboratory in the United Kingdom, did a study on how human’s sense of taste and sound are related to one another. They asked whether or not sound changes your perception of how things taste. Spence found that the two are very much related. He had participants eat a potato chip. He then did a host of studies allowing participants to hear the sound of the crunch vs not hearing it, even amplifying the sound of the crunch vs lowering the sound level. He found that our sense of sound directly correlates to our sense of taste and how you would perceive crispness and freshness of those potato chips. As well, at which level you hear the sound. The louder the sound, the more fresh participants said the chip was.
So how does this relate to hearing health? Well, if you’re anything like me you love food, and how we perceive a food’s taste is important. Without sound, food would lack some of the excitement and wow factor that it has. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want eating to just become a thing I do to survive. Simply put, if you don’t take care of your hearing then things won’t taste as good. With thanksgiving fast approaching you may not want to hear all the joys of being around your cousin’s aunt’s chaotic children, but you will want to taste that amazing turkey fresh out of the oven, and all the sides that go with it. For that you’ll need your hearing. Just a little ‘food for thought’.
CaptionCall is an ambassador for hearing health and an advocate for people with hearing loss. CaptionCall encourages people everywhere to actively manage their hearing health through regular hearing evaluations, and to seek early treatment when hearing loss is identified. CaptionCall is committed to helping people with hearing loss stay socially engaged for a longer, happier, healthier life.
Written By John Apgar, Marketing Coordinator