Document Detail

Learned liking versus inborn delight: can sweetness give sensual pleasure or is it just motivating?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20921573     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In this study, we separated for the first time the learned liking for a particular level of sweetness in a familiar drink from the infantile delight in sweetness as such ("the sweeter, the better"). It is widely assumed that sensing a liked food or drink evokes a pleasurable experience, but the only psychological evidence for this assumption has been tongue movements that are elicited specifically by sweet taste in animals and human neonates. We found that adults felt such movements in response to drinking juice at both their personally preferred level of sweetness and levels they deemed so sweet as to be undrinkable. Yet only the intolerably strong level of sweetness elicited enjoyment of the experienced movements, elevation of mood, and a sense of smiling. Hence, the pleasure that adults experience during ingestion could be exclusively linked with the congenital sweetness reflex that sends mother's milk down an infant's throat.
David A Booth; Suzanne Higgs; Jennifer Schneider; Isabelle Klinkenberg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-10-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological science     Volume:  21     ISSN:  1467-9280     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Sci     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-11-11     Completed Date:  2011-04-04     Revised Date:  2011-09-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9007542     Medline TA:  Psychol Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1656-63     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Choice Behavior
Habituation, Psychophysiologic*
Sweetening Agents
Taste Threshold
Tongue Habits
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Sweetening Agents

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