Science proves you eat with your eyes firstAugust 31, 2022 by Darcie
A well-known adage among chefs and food lovers is, “You eat with your eyes first.” This truism has scientific backing, the most recent of which is a brain study conducted at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). There, scientists discovered that food images appear to trigger a specific set of neurons. This is similar to earlier findings that certain areas of the brain are associated with remembering faces, places, and words.
The neural response identified in this study has not been reported before in the scientific literature, and it caught the researchers by surprise. “We were quite puzzled by this because food is not a visually homogenous category,” said Meenakshi Khosla, one of the study’s lead authors. “Things like apples and corn and pasta all look so unlike each other, yet we found a single population that responds similarly to all these diverse food items.”
Not only did they find an association between food and a specific region of the brain, they noted that some foods provoked a more potent association than others. Cooked items such as pizza triggered a stronger reaction than raw fruits and vegetables. Color did not seem to be a factor – the association occurred even with black and white images of food. Scientists believe having a dedicated area of the brain trained to identify food indicates the importance of food to human evolution.
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