Professor Charles SpenceProfessor of Experimental Psychology; Fellow of Somerville College
Neurogastronomy: where neuroscience meets molecular gastronomy
Professor Charles Spence is very interested in how our brains manage to process the information from each of our different senses (such as smell, taste, sight, hearing, and touch) to form our rich daily multisensory experiences. This sounds like a lot of fun and it has led him to the Professorship of Experimental Psychology at Oxford, England.
His research has implications in many areas – the design of interfaces, improving the flavour of the food we eat, making cars safer, making things hurt less… or more. Neurogastronomy is an interest and he is currently working with Heston Blumenthal, chef of The Fat Duck restaurant. Charles is just starting out – with only 300 articles in top-flight scientific journals in 15 years. If he is eligible for an award, he wins it, for example the prestigious Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, and the 2008 IG Nobel prize for nutrition, for his groundbreaking work on the ‘sonic potato crisp.’