Sussex Ingestive Behaviour Group

Current projects

Leverhulme-funded research grant "Why some foods smell sweet: the neural basis of odour-taste associations" (2018-2022)

Our past research has demonstrated how co-exposure of retronasal smells and tastes leads to the apparent experience of the associated taste when the smell is latter experienced orthonasally.  Put simply, if we experience an odour and a sweet taste together as part of our broader experience of the flavour of something, later when we smell the same odour it smells "sweeter".  No one yet knows how the brain does this, and this project will find out!

Staff:  Prof Martin Yeomans (PI), Dr Chi Vi (Post-Doc), Rhiannon Armitage (RA)

Collaborators:  Prof Marianna Obrist (Informatics), Dr Dan Campbell-Meiklejohn (Psychology), Prof Hugo Critchley (Brighton and Sussex Medical School).

Matching consumer expectations to product delivery: testing the value of a multi-expectation model in enhancing consumer acceptance of lower alcohol beers: a 4-year PhD studentship sponsored by Fonds Baillet Latour (2018-2022)

The studentship explores how the label and contextual information may generate consumer expectations about different types of beer which could be used in the marketing of drinks to enhance acceptance and acceptability of reduced alcohol beers.  Building on a new framework for how expectations are used by consumers, the studentship explores how expectations modify the sensory experience and liking for the product while drinking, and the degree to which the product delivers the desired consumer benefit.  It also considers which of these factors is key to overall product satisfaction, so informing future development of novel reduced alcohol beers.

Student: Helena Blackmore, Supervisor: Professor Martin Yeomans, Collaborators: Dr Claire Hidrio, Clemence Leotard and Phillippe Godineau (AB Inbev)

Understanding subjective differences in sweet-liking and consumption pattern across age groups to help in formulating a strategy to change eating behavioural patterns: a 3-year PhD studentship co-funded by WSRO and the Sussex Doctoral School (2017-2020)

Humans are thought to have evolved liking for sweet tastes as a predictor of the presence of sugar.  A great deal is known about sweet taste detection, and associated neural controls.  However, a number of critical puzzles remain about the relationship between sweet taste and human food preferences.  This project focuses on one puzzle: why are there clear individual differences in sweet preference, evidenced as the distinction between sweet likers and dislikers?

Student: Vasiliki Iatridi, Supervisor: Professor Martin Yeomans, Collaborator: Dr John Hayes (Penn State University)

Understanding the role of attention in appetite control: the influence of perceptual and cognitive load. (2016-2019)

This project applies load-theory to further understand the role of attention in various aspects of the control of appetite.

Student: Jenny Morris, Supervisors: Professor Martin Yeomans and Dr Sophie Forster