Photo of David Booth

David Booth
Honorary Professor (Psychology)
E:

Research

David Booth investigates the ways in which an individual's life works. His research and teaching have centred on the processes in the mind that situate actions and reactions by people, members of other species and, indeed, socially intelligent engineered systems.

His research includes three major themes, listed below with some key papers. [Full texts of journal papers and book chapters available to the public can be downloaded from the list of contributions in the profile for David A. Booth (University of Sussex) on ResearchGate.]

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1.

HOW AN INDIVIDUAL'S MIND WORKS

"Like any other psychologist, I collect data for any one study from substantial numbers of individuals. However, from the very start of my work, I have examined the data from each individual separately before combining them for conventional analyses.  I have also endeavoured to investigate psychological phenomena as closely as feasible to the conditions that are usual in the individual's life.  I began to realise that a whole study could be completed in an individual in a single session if the investigation has been designed effectively. This led to a theory and method for 'reading a mind.'   Of course, to generalise (or to particularise), there need to be multiple sessions, a good sample of individuals and a relevant variety of situations." 

 

Booth, D.A. (2004). How observations on oneself can be scientific. [Comment on S. Roberts, Self-experimentation as a source of new ideas: ten examples about sleep, mood, health, and weight] Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27, 262-263.

First, self-observation is not introspection. Secondly, whether or not self-observation is more sensitive than other-observation, autobiographical anecdotes are more easily contextualised. Thirdly, although self-manipulation can never be blind, presence vs absence (or even two or more levels) of a putative influence can be sought out and the putative effect(s) examined. Crucially, self-observation can never provide experimental or correlational evidence: as in Seth Roberts's title, its role is "as a source of ... ideas." 

Booth, D.A. (1967). Vertebrate brain ribonucleic acids and memory retention. Psychological Bulletin 68, 149-177.

Booth, D.A. (1970). Neurochemical changes correlated with learning and memory retention. In G. Ungar (Ed.), Molecular mechanisms in memory and learning. Pp. 1-57.  New York: Plenum Press. 

Booth, D.A. (1973). Protein synthesis and memory. In J.A. Deutsch (Ed.), Physiological basis of memory. Pp. 27-58. New York: Academic Press.

Booth D.A., & Pilcher, C.W.T. (1973). Behavioural effects of protein synthesis inhibitors: consolidation blockade or [punishing] reinforcement? In G.B. Ansell & P.B. Bradley (Eds.), Macromolecules and behaviour. Pp. 105-112. London: Macmillan, 1973.

The contents of memory are held in the locations of adapting synapses in the brain. Administered chemical structures only bias performance, in the way that some hormones do. Whenever an adaptive synapse is activated, a change in its connectivity occurs which is fixed until the next activation, through structure created by RNA-dependent protein synthesis.

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Pain, J.F., & Booth, D.A. (1968). Toxiphobia to odors. Psychonomic Science 10, 363-364.

Booth, D.A., & Simson, P.C. (1973). Aversion to a cue acquired by its association with effects of an antibiotic in rats. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 84, 319-323.

D'Mello. G.D., Stolerman, I.P., Booth, D.A. & Pilcher, C.W.T. (1977). Factors influencing flavour aversions conditioned with amphetamine in rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 7, 185-190.

Matthews, J.W., Gibson, E.L., & Booth, D.A. (1985). Norepinephrine-facilitated eating: reduction in saccharin preference and conditioned flavor preferences with increase in quinine aversion. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 22, 1045‑1052.

Knibb, R.C., Smith, D.M., Booth, D.A., Armstrong, A.M., Platts, R.G., Macdonald, A., & Booth, I.W. (2001). No unique role of nausea attributed to eating a food in the recalled acquisition of sensory aversion to that food. Appetite 36, 225-234.

Careful design of observations in a few rats provided reliable evidence that long-delay learning is not confined to taste (or indeed to a sweet solution). The toxin that becomes feared may not have caused gastro-intestinal upset either: any unfamiliar drug - or, in people, a 'hangover' - may establish aversion to or avoidance of a predictive cue. The original finding in animals was consistent also with the idea that the identity of an odour is learnt.

Booth, D.A., Lovett, D., & McSherry, G.M. (1972). Postingestive modulation of the sweetness preference gradient in the rat. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 78, 485-512.

After many experiments chasing a theory of unlearnt nutrient-specific satiety, we found the first evidence that glucose released by digestion conditions preference, not just to a cue, but to the presented level of that cue. These results were the root of the idea that memory and perception are multidimensional, not merely categorical.

Booth, D.A. (1978). Language acquisition as the addition of verbal routines. In R.N. Campbell & P.T. Smith (eds.), Recent advances in the psychology of language. Formal and experimental approaches, pp. 219-241. Plenum Press, New York.

Anecdotes indicating comprehension are sufficient to formulate hypothetical sets of acts under specified conditions as the basis of early learning of language.

Kirk-Smith, M.D., & Booth, D.A. (1987).  Chemoreception in human behaviour: experimental analysis of the social effects of fragrances.  Chemical Senses 12, 159-166.  

Kirk-Smith, M.D., & Booth, D.A. (1990).  Effects of five odorants on mood and assessment of other people. In D.W. Macdonald, D. Muller-Schwartz & S. Natynczuk (Eds.) Chemical signals in vertebrates,V, pp. 48-54.  London: Oxford University Press.

The above two papers showed that the attractiveness of a person wearing a fragrance came from associations to social contexts where a similar odour was present, rather than any pheromonal effect.

Booth, D.A., Thompson, A.L. & Shahedian, B. (1983).  A robust, brief measure of an individual's most preferred level of salt in an ordinary foodstuff.  Appetite 4, 301-312.

As expected from the 1972 paper above in rats, people do not just like some foods to taste of salt: they like a particular level of salt in each food - learnt from experience of that food with that amount of salt.

Conner, M.T., Haddon, A.V., Pickering, E.S., & Booth, D.A. (1988).  Sweet tooth demonstrated: individual differences in preference for both sweet foods and foods highly sweetened.  Journal of Applied Psychology 73, 275-280.

At that time in Britain, eaters of fruit and salads had learned lower ideal levels of sugar in foods and drinks than those in eaters of snack foods. This was a further extension of the scaling of test samples in number of discriminations from the norm in memory. 

Booth, D.A., & Freeman, R.P.J. (1993). Discriminative feature integration by individuals.  Acta Psychologica 84, 1-16. 

When all observed response/stimulus relationships from an individual in a situation are scaled in half-discriminations from the standard in memory, the interactions among those causal processes that best explain the variations in a response can be calculated.

Booth, D.A., Sharpe, O., Freeman, R.P.J., & Conner, M.T. (2011). Insight into sight, touch, taste and smell by multiple discriminations from norm. Seeing and Perceiving 24, 485-511, 639.

The above-developed theory of personal mentation is updated, with a wide variety of illustrative data.

Booth, D.A., Kendal-Reed, M.S., & Freeman, R.P.J. (2010). A strawberry by any other name would smell as sweet, green, fruity and buttery. Appetite 55, 738-741.

Booth, D.A. (2015). Chemosensory influences on eating and drinking, and their cognitive mediation. In A.R. Hirsch (ed.), Nutrition and chemosensation, 221-294. Boca Raton LA: CRC Press (Taylor & Francis). 

The aroma of fresh strawberries can be generated by a mixture of just four compounds in the correct proportions to simulate the components: meringue "sweet"; leafy "green"; a generic "fruity"; and (surprisingly) a butter-like aroma - notes that can be picked out by an 'analytical' human nose.

Booth, D.A., & Freeman, R.P.J. (2014). Mind-reading versus neuromarketing: how does a product make an impact on the consumer? Journal of Consumer Marketing 31 (3), 177-189.

Psychology is needed to make sense of brain imaging - particularly the personal biosocial psychology developed with Freeman from work with Conner. 

Richardson-Harman, N.J., & Booth, D.A. (2006). Do you like the sight or the feel of milk in coffee?  Ecology and effortful attention in differential acuity and preference for sensed effects of milk substitute in vended coffee.  Appetite 46, 130-136.

The units of discrimination by themselves, calculated from an individual's single session, are sufficient to address complex issues of attention and context.

Mobini, S., Platts, R.G., & Booth, D.A. (2011). Haptic signals of texture while eating a food. Multisensory cognition as interacting discriminations from norm. Appetite 56(2), 386-393.  

Personal cognitive analysis of successive sessions on variants of a particular version of a familiar material showed the pre-established memory being refined.

Booth, D.A., Freeman, R.P.J., Konle, M., Wainwright, C.J., & Sharpe, O. (2011). Perception as interacting psychophysical functions. Could the configuring of features replace a specialised receptor? Perception 40, 509-529.

The multiple discrimination approach to each session with each person shows how the savoury taste of glutamate (as in the flavouring, MSG) can be mimicked by a mixture of compounds with single tastes, even though glutamate has its own taste receptor. 

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Kissileff, H.R., Booth, D.A., Thornton, J.C., Pi-Sunyer, F.X., Pierson, R.N., & Lee, J. (2008). Human food intake is discriminatively sensitive to gastric signaling. Appetite 51, 759. (Abstract, BFDG Liverpool)

The level of distension in the stomach is a strong determinant of the amount eaten in a test meal when the only memory available for comparison is the distension during previous meals at the tested time of day.

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Booth, D.A., & Smith, E.B.O. (1964). Urinary excretion of some purine bases in normal and schizophrenic subjects. British Journal of Psychiatry 110, 582‑587.

My first research as a predoctoral biochemist presaged the N = 1 / single-session biosocial psychology illustrated above! - as well as being about food ...  Another blind alley for the toxin theory of psychosis was identified by relating my body chemistry from a lunch on chocolate to a contrast in confectionery choices between nurses and psychiatric patients' visitors.

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2.

enABLE WELLBEING

'enABLE' means 'evidence-networking App for Better Living Education'.  Evidence is collected and fed back on how much improvement in personal wellbeing is achieved by each change in a habit that an individual maintains.

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enABLE weight control

Blair, A.J., Booth, D.A., Lewis, V.J., & Wainwright, C.J. (1989). The relative success of official and informal weight reduction techniques. Psychology and Health 3, 195-206. 

Booth, D.A., Blair, A.J., Lewis, V.J., & Baek, S.H. (2004). Patterns of eating and movement that best maintain reduction in overweight. Appetite 43, 277-283.

The above two papers come from a search for readily changed habits that get weight off, and keep it off while the habit is kept at the new frequency.

Lewis, V.J., Blair, A.J., & Booth, D.A. (1992). Outcome of group therapy for body-image emotionality and weight-control self-efficacy.  Behavioural Psychotherapy (Clinical Section) 20, 155-166.

Blair, A.J., Lewis, V.J., & Booth, D.A. (1992). Response to leaflets about eating and shape by women concerned about their weight.  Behavioural Psychotherapy (Clinical Section) 20, 279-286. 

First above is a open trial of 'enABLE weight loss' combined with cognitive behavioural therapy for emotional eating. There was a further decrease of weight after the end of intervention, as people experimented on themselves. Second above uses stratified randomisation with the Blair+ '89 questionnaires, showing improvement in body image, emotional eating and weight control self-efficacy, just from reading through the range of habits that could be changed.

Booth, D. (1998).  Waist not, want not.  In S. Griffiths & J. Wallace (Eds.), Consuming passions.  Food in the age of anxiety, pp. 96-103.  London: Manchester University Press.

How to get rid of an expanded waistline without suffering agonies of hunger.

Booth, D.A., & Platts, R.G. (2000). Tool for assessing and reducing an individual’s fat intake. Appetite 34, 107-108.

Reports of common food-choice habits measure fat intake and, at the same time, identify ways to reduce it.  No knowledge of nutrition required.

Booth, D.A., & Booth, P. (2011). Targeting cultural changes supportive of the healthiest lifestyle patterns. A biosocial evidence-base for prevention of obesity. Appetite 56, 386-393.

Booth, D.A., & Laguna-Camacho, A. (2015), Physical versus psychosocial measurement of influences on obesity. Comment on Durandhar et al. [Letter to the Editor.] International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders 39, 1177-1178. DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2015.62

Exposition of the whole enABLE approach but using weight control as an example, plus an attack on the materialist ontology presupposed by mainstream nutrition and exercise sciences.

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enABLE compassionate action

Green, G.R., & Booth, D.A. (2004). Empathy, compassion, cooperation.  Hilary Green Research Fund. epapers.bham.ac.uk

Unpublished work in progress: the processes identified by personal cognition lead directly to mechanisms of empathic perception, sympathetic emotion and compassionate intention involved in (bilateral) cooperation and (unilateral) helping.

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enABLE vigorous living

Bowman, S.J., Booth, D.A., Platts, R.G., & the UK Sjögren's Interest Group (2004). Measurement of fatigue and discomfort in primary Sjogren's syndrome using a new questionnaire tool. Rheumatology 43, 758-764.

Goodchild, C.E., Treharne, G.J., Booth, D.A., & Bowman, S.J. (2010). Daytime patterning of fatigue and its associations with the previous night's discomfort and poor sleep among women with primary Sjogren's syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis. Musculoskeletal Care 8, 107-117.

Two of a series of papers providing the basis for an enABLE approach to recurrent extreme weariness, one of the most serious symptoms of chronic disease.

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enABLE freedom from fears of foods

Knibb, R.C., & Booth, D.A. (2011). Situation-specific cognitive-behavioural self-therapy for erroneously suspected allergy or intolerance to a food. A short self-assessment tool. Appetite 57, 439-442.

A tool for separating out those who need immunological testing, built from basic research into memories of the incident(s) that established a belief in intolerance to a food.

  

3.

SENSORY, SOCIAL & SOMATIC CONTROLS OF EATING

- FUNDAMENTAL

Every few years careful study of a phenomenon has led to an improvement in understanding of the mental mechanisms of ingestive behaviour that bring together perception of a food or drink with interpersonal, cultural and physiological influences on the tendency to take the next mouthful.  Here is an illustrative selection of such papers.

The controls of eating are distributed around the brain and body:-

Booth, D.A. (1967). Localisation of adrenergic eating in the hypothalamus. Science 158, 515-517. 

Gibson, E.L., & Booth, D.A. (1986). Feeding induced by injection of norepinephrine near the paraventricular nucleus is suppressed specifically by the early stages of strong postingestional satiety in the rat. Physiological Psychology 14, 98-103. 

Duggan, J.P., & Booth, D.A. (1986). Obesity, overeating and rapid gastric emptying in rats with ventromedial hypothalamic lesions. Science 231, 609-611.

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Meal patterns are driven by variation in rate of emptying of the stomach:-

Booth, D.A. & Mather, P. (1978). Prototype model of human feeding, growth and obesity. In D.A. Booth (Ed.), Hunger models: computable theory of feeding control, 279-322. London: Academic Press.

Duggan & Booth 1986, op. cit.

Booth, D.A., Gibson, E.L., & Baker, B.J. (1986). Gastromotor mechanism of fenfluramine anorexia. Appetite 7 Supplement, 57-69.   

Baker, B.J., Duggan, J.P., Barber, D.J., & Booth, D.A. (1988). Effects of dl-fenfluramine and xylamidine on gastric emptying of maintenance diet in freely feeding rats.  European Journal of Pharmacology 150, 137-142. 

French, J.A., Wainwright, C.J., Booth, D.A., & Hamilton, J. (1992). Effects of meat species and particle size on postprandial satiety.  Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 51, 57A. 

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Meals are ended by aversively conditioned hunger motivation:- 

Booth, D.A. (1972). Conditioned satiety in the rat. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 81, 457-471. 

Booth, D.A., & Davis, J.D. (1973). Gastrointestinal factors in the acquisition of oral sensory control of satiation. Physiology and Behavior 11, 23-29.

Booth, D.A. (1985).  Food-conditioned eating preferences and aversions with interoceptive elements: [learnt] appetites and satieties. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 443, 22-37.

Booth, D.A., Gibson, E.L., Toase, A.-M. & Freeman, R.P.J. (1994). Small objects of desire: the recognition of foods and drinks and its neural mechanisms. In C.R. Legg & D.A. Booth (Eds.) Appetite: neural and behavioural bases, pp. 98-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Booth, D.A. (2013). Configuring of extero- and interoceptive senses in actions on food. Multisensory Research 26, 123-142. 

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Appetite & its sating are controlled by configured stimuli from food, body and society:-

Gibson, E.L., & Booth, D.A. (1986).  Acquired protein appetite in rats: dependence on a protein-specific need state.  Experientia 42, 1003-1004.

Gibson, E.L., & Booth, D.A. (1989). Dependence of carbohydrate-conditioned flavor preference on internal state in rats.  Learning and Motivation 20, 36-47.

Gibson, E.L., Wainwright, C.J., & Booth, D.A. (1995). Disguised protein in lunch after low-protein breakfast conditions food-flavor preferences dependent on recent lack of protein intake.  Physiology and Behavior 58, 363-371. 

Booth, D.A., & Baker, B.J. (1990).  dl-Fenfluramine challenge to nutrient-specific textural preference conditioned by concurrent presentation of two diets. Behavioral Neuroscience 104, 226-229. 

Baker, B.J., & Booth, D.A. (1990). Effects of dl-fenfluramine on dextrin and casein intakes influenced by textural preferences.  Behavioral Neuroscience 104, 153-159.

Thibault, L., & Booth, D.A. (1999). Macronutrient-specific dietary selection in rodents and its neural bases. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 23(4), 457-528.

Booth, D.A., & Davis, J.D. (1973). op. cit. ["conditioned satiety" = appetite loss from configured sensory and visceral cues]

Booth, D.A., Mather, P., & Fuller, J. (1982). Starch content of ordinary foods associatively conditions human appetite and satiation, indexed by intake and eating pleasantness of starch-paired flavours.  Appetite 3, 163-184.

Booth, D.A., & Grinker, J.A. (1993). Learned control of meal size in spontaneously obese and nonobese bonnet macaque monkeys.  Physiology and Behavior 53, 51-57.

Booth, D.A. (2013). Configuring of extero- and interoceptive senses in actions on food. Multisensory Research 26, 123-142.

Santos, M.L.S., & Booth, D.A. (1996). Influences on meat avoidance among British students. Appetite 27, 197-205. 

Booth, D.A., & Freeman, R.P.J. (2014). Mind-reading versus neuromarketing: how does a product make an impact on the consumer? Journal of Consumer Marketing 31 (3), 177-189, 235-236.  

Booth, D.A. (2015). Chemosensory influences on eating and drinking, and their cognitive mediation. In A.R. Hirsch (Ed.), Nutrition and chemosensation. Pp. 221-294. Boca Raton LA: CRC Press (Taylor & Francis). 

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The strongest influences are the best discriminated:-

Marie, S., Land, D.G. & Booth, D.A. (1987). Comparison of flavour perception by [sniffing] and by [ingestion]. In M. Martens, G.A. Dalen & H. Russwurm (Eds.), Flavour science & technology. Pp. 301-308.  Chichester: Wiley.

Conner, M.T., Haddon, A.V., Pickering, E.S., & Booth, D.A. (1988). Sweet tooth demonstrated: individual differences in preference for both sweet foods and foods highly sweetened.  Journal of Applied Psychology 73, 275-280.

Harris, G., Thomas, A., & Booth, D.A. (1991). Development of salt taste preference in infancy. Developmental Psychology 26, 534-538.

Richardson, N.J., Booth, D.A., & Stanley, N.L. (1993). Effect of homogenization and fat content on oral perception of low and high viscosity model creams.  Journal of Sensory Studies 8, 133-143.

Booth, D.A. (2005). Perceiving the texture of a food: biomechanical and cognitive mechanisms and their measurement.  In E. Dickinson (Ed.), Food colloids: interactions, microstructure and processing, pp. 339-355.  Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.

French, S.J., Read, N.W., Booth, D.A., & Arkley, S. (1993). Satisfaction of hunger and thirst from foods and drinks.  British Food Journal 95 (9), 19-26.

Dibsdall, L.A., Wainwright, C.J., Read, N.W., & Booth, D.A. (1996). How fats and carbohydrates in familiar foods contribute to everyday satiety by their sensory and physiological actions. British Food Journal 99, 142-147. 

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False memories of food poisoning:-

Knibb, R.C., Armstrong, A.M., Booth, D.A., Platts, R.G., Booth, I.W., & Macdonald, A. (1999). Psychological characteristics of people with perceived food intolerance in a community sample.  Journal of Psychosomatic Research 47, 545-554. 

Knibb, R., Booth, D.A., Armstrong, A., Platts, R., Macdonald, A. & Booth, I.W. (1999). Episodic and semantic memory in reports of food intolerance. Applied Cognitive Psychology 13, 451-464.

Armstrong, A.M., MacDonald, A., Booth, I.W., Platts, R.G., Knibb, R.C., & Booth, D.A. (2000).  Errors in memory for dietary intake and their reduction.  Applied Cognitive Psychology 14, 183-191.

Knibb, R.C., Smith, D.M., Booth, D.A., Armstrong, A.M., Platts, R.G., Macdonald, A., & Booth, I.W. (2001).  No unique role of nausea attributed to eating a food in the recalled acquisition of sensory aversion to that food.  Appetite 36, 225-234.

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Motivating versus rewarding effects of food:-

Booth, D.A., Higgs, S., Schneider, J., & Klinkenberg, I. (2010). Learned liking versus inborn delight. Can sweetness give sensual pleasure or is it just motivating? Psychological Science 21, 1656-1663. 

Booth, D.A. (2016). “I like it!” Preference actions separated from hedonic reactions. Journal of Sensory Studies (Wiley) 31, 213-232.  

Jarvandi, S., Thibault, L., & Booth, D.A. (2009).  Rats learn to eat more to avoid hunger.  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 62 (4), 663-672. 

Booth, D.A., Jarvandi, S., & Thibault, L. (2012). Food after deprivation rewards the earlier eating. Appetite 59, 790-795.

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- APPLIED

Quantitative mechanistic research into sensed and anticipated characteristics of foods has led to powerful new ways of formulating products to please customers, and of marketing them to support users' efforts to be healthy; for example:-

Griffiths, R.P., Clifton, V.J., & Booth, D.A. (1984).  Measurement of an individual's optimally preferred level of a food flavour.  In J. Adda (Ed.), Progress in flavour research, pp. 81-90.  Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Conner, M.T., Haddon, A.V., & Booth, D.A. (1986). Very rapid, precise measurement of effects of constituent variation on product acceptability: consumer sweetness preferences in a lime drink. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft und -Technologie 19, 486-490.

Conner, M.T., Booth, D.A., Clifton, V.J., & Griffiths, R.P. (1988). Individualized optimization of the salt content of white bread for acceptability. Journal of Food Science 53, 549-554. 

Booth, D.A., Mobini, S., Earl, T., & Wainwright, C.J. (2003). Consumer-specified instrumental quality of short-dough cookie texture using penetrometry and break force. Journal of Food Science - Sensory and Nutritive Properties of Foods 68, 382-387.

Booth, D.A. (2014). Measuring sensory and marketing influences on consumers' choices among food and beverage product brands. Trends in Food Science and Technology 35, 129-137. 

Booth, D.A., & Freeman, R.P.J. (2014). Mind-reading versus neuromarketing: how does a product make an impact on the consumer? Journal of Consumer Marketing 31 (3), 177-189. [social and sensory inputs on the same metric for decision making]

Booth, D.A. (2015). Scientific measurement of sensory preferences using stimulus tetrads. Journal of Sensory Studies 30, 108-127.

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