Does colour affect the way your brain thinks a food will taste?

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My topic is about what and why colours affect cravings and the way your brain thinks. Smell and taste belong to our chemical sensing system (chemosensation). The complicated process of smelling and tasting begins when molecules released by the substances around us stimulate special nerve cells in the nose, mouth, or throat. These cells transmit messages to the brain, where specific smells or tastes are identified. Scientists have found that the sense of smell is most accurate between the ages of 30 and 60 years. It begins to decline after age 60, and a large proportion of elderly persons lose their smelling ability. Women of all ages are generally more accurate than men in identifying odors.

Your taste buds play an important role in determining the four basic groups of taste, which are sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. When your taste buds come in contact with food, they send signals to your brain to Clarify flavor. Because we look at our food before eating, however, our eyes send signals to our brain well before our taste buds get the chance. This can predetermine how we will perceive the taste and flavor of what we’re about to eat. Color is often the first element noticed in the appearance of a food product. Humans begin to associate certain colors with various types of foods from birth, and equate these colors to certain tastes and flavors throughout life.

For example, we may expect yellow pudding to have a banana or lemon flavor and red jelly beans to have a cherry or cinnamon flavor. In fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, we rely on the color to determine their level of ripeness and/or freshness. If the color of a food product does not match our expectations, we may perceive its taste and flavor differently.

Light rays enter the eye through the cornea, the clear front “window” of the eye. The cornea refractive power bends the light rays in such a way that they pass freely through the pupil the opening in the center of the iris through which light enters the eye. The iris works like a shutter in a camera. It has the ability to enlarge and shrink, depending on how much light is entering the eye. After passing through the iris, the light rays pass thru the eye’s natural crystalline lens. This clear, flexible structure works like the lens in a camera, shortening and lengthening its width in order to focus light rays properly. Light rays pass through a dense, transparent gel-like substance, called the vitreous that fills the globe of the eyeball and helps the eye hold its spherical shape. In a normal eye, the light rays come to a sharp focusing point on the retina. The retina functions much like the film in a camera. It is responsible for capturing all of the light rays, processing them into light impulses through millions of tiny nerve endings, then sending these light impulses through over a million nerve fibers to the optic nerve.

Because the keratoconus cornea is irregular and cone shaped, light rays enter the eye at different angles, and do not focus on one point the retina, but on many different points causing a blurred, distorted image. In summary, the cornea is the clear, transparent front covering which admits light and begins the refractive process. It also keeps foreign particles from entering the eye. The truth is that color is not actually inherent within any object. Scientists like Isaac Newton noted years ago that the phenomenon of color is not a given; instead, each object’s surface both reflects and absorbs all possible color wavelengths.

Only the colors that are reflected from the object are the ones that we can perceive. For example, when we see an object that is yellow in color, it is not that the color yellow is within it; rather, the object’s surface is reflecting yellow wavelengths and absorbing all of the other color wavelengths. In the same way, objects that appear black are absorbing all color wavelengths, and white items are actually reflecting all color wavelengths away. The retina of the eye is located at the back of the eye’s interior and covers about 65 percent of the eye. The retina is light sensitive and even considered to be a part of the brain. The retina has literally millions of rods and cones, which are light sensitive cells. Rods assist with processing black and white information, while the cones assist with color perceptions. There are three types of cones, and most are located in the retina’s center. There are around six million cones in the human eye, allowing for the perception or color as well as sharpness. The three types of cones correlate to short, medium or long light wavelengths.

They work in partnership with connector nerve cells and send information to the brain so that it can discern and interpret colors. The rods and cones of the eye process light and make them into nerve impulses. These nerve impulses are then passed along the optic nerve to the brain’s cortex where we interpret them as the various colors.