Research Workshop: The influence of music on the perception of food-taste and pleasantness

Event details & Booking

  • Name: Research Workshop Influence and Perception
  • Date: 23 May 2019
  • Time: 17:30 - 19:00
  • Location: Regent's University London
  • Price: £12
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Workshop information

Hosted by Regent's Centre for Relational Studies & Psychological Wellbeing, this workshop aims to make participants aware of the impact of music on perceptions of food and drink, and offers a review of the most recent research in the area.

Who is this workshop for?

Regent's students, staff, alumni, qualified psychotherapists, psychotherapists in training, people of all backgrounds, competences and skills who are interested in the vast potential of applied music to influence the way people feel and consequently affect their behavior. Potential collaborators with this line of research would be most welcome to attend.

Speaker - Dr Vania Bajic

Vania Bajic received her PhD in Applied Psychology from the University of Kent in 2018. Her thesis investigates the possibility of using music to influence eating behaviours and eating outcomes, such as the perception of food-taste, food-pleasantness and the speed of mastication. Prior to  that Vania obtained an MSc (2013) in Applied Music Psychology from Roehampton University. In the same year she was awarded Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Vania has over 20 years’ experience in the field of music, both as a teacher and a performer. She is a full member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

Western diets are rich in calorie-dense foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat. This, combined with a lack of exercise, has contributed to the dramatic rise in overweight and obesity in recent years. The fact that food cravings are often associated with food palatability adds to the difficulties posed by low calorie diets and special food regimes recommended for overweight and obese individuals. Finding novel and creative ways to improve food taste and palatability could provide valuable support to the current effort to reduce the prevalence of overeating and overweight conditions.

Dr Bajic’s work investigates whether music could be used to modify the perception of food taste and in that way exert influence over eating behaviours and outcomes. More specifically, it examines whether listening to sweet-taste congruent and bitter-taste-congruent soundtracks while eating can modify the perception of food-taste and food pleasantness. The findings demonstrate the effects of taste-congruent soundtracks on the perception of food taste as well as food pleasantness. The prospect of using sound to influence food acceptance and palatability looks encouraging and merits further investigation. This study is a part of the presenter’s PhD thesis which investigates the influence of music on eating behaviours
and outcomes.