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Speaker(s): Professor Charles Spence

Recorded on 21 March 2017 at Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Why do we consume 35% more food when eating with one more person, and 75% more when with three? Why are 27% of drinks bought on aeroplanes tomato juice? How are chefs and companies planning to transform our dining experiences, and what can we learn from their cutting-edge insights to make memorable meals at home?

These are just some of the ingredients of Gastrophysics, in which the pioneering Oxford professor Charles Spence shows how our senses link up in the most extraordinary ways, and reveals the importance of all the "off-the-plate" elements of a meal: the weight of cutlery, the colour of the plate (his lab showed that red is associated with sweetness - we perceive salty popcorn as tasting sweet when served in a red bowl), the background music and much more. Whether dining alone or at a dinner party, on a plane or in front of the TV, he reveals how to understand what we're tasting and influence what others experience. Meal-times will genuinely never be the same again.

Professor Charles Spence is the head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University, which specializes in cognitive psychology, consumer psychology and sensory marketing. He has consulted for multinational companies including Toyota and ICI. Charles was awarded an IG Nobel prize for his ground-breaking work on the 'sonic crisp' and has been profiled in publications including the Guardian and the New Yorker. He sits on the scientific advisory board of PepsiCo and his book The Perfect Meal won the 2015 Popular Science Prose Award.

The Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (@PsychologyLSE) study and teach societal psychology: the psychology of humans in complex socio-technical systems (organisations, communities, societies). Our research deals with real-world issues, we train the future global leaders.

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