A bitter-sweet symphony

Cross-modal associations are intriguing. Why should we prefer to associate certain shapes to certain words? I still remember my brother, although not a psychologist, asking everyone at a family dinner to match the words ‘kiki’ and ‘bouba’ with either a round or spiky shape. If you’re an adept of that kind of entertainment, you might want to try … [Read more...]

Large flat whites taste stronger than regular flat whites

Australia is, I think, the home of the Flat White - a coffee that is a bit like a latte with less milk and that has quite recently started infiltrating the UK coffee scene. Of course, Monmouth at Borough Market has been doing a very good flat white for a few years, but then again, in my view, Monmouth at Borough Market is the BEST place for coffee … [Read more...]

Summarizing The Science of Interpersonal Touch

By Alberto Gallace and Charles Spence The body surface is not only a receptive organ but also a very powerful interpersonal communication system. In fact, it has even been claimed that social touch plays one, in not ‘the’, most important role in the early psychological development of humans. Despite these considerations, the more perceptual … [Read more...]

Is mirror therapy all it is cracked up to be? Current evidence and future directions

Mirror therapy has attracted a lot of attention recently, here are extracts from a paper reviewing some of the evidence. G. Lorimer Moseley[1], Alberto Gallace[2], Charles Spence[3] [1] Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and Pain Imaging Neuroscience Group, Le Gros Clark Building, Oxford Centre for fMRI of the Brain, University of … [Read more...]

Moisturising cream – read the label

Here is a cool study from Oxford University - they led participants to believe that they were applying either a 'rich moisturising cream' or a 'basic cream' to their forearm and asked them to rate how it felt - pleasantness and richness etc. They also scanned their brains. The team reports that These new findings thus show that cognitive … [Read more...]

Sound Bites – Foods that sound better taste better

The pleasure we derive from eating obviously depends on what food tastes and smells like. Visual presentation and colour are also important, as is the feel of the food in the mouth (i.e., its temperature and texture). But did you know that what a food sounds like can also determine how pleasant food tastes as well? The latest research from Prof … [Read more...]