CfP: Special issue on “Auditory contributions to food perception and consumer behaviour” in Multisensory Research Journal


Auditory contributions to food perception and consumer behaviour

Edited by Prof Charls Spence (University of Oxford), Dr. Felipe Reinoso Carvalho (Department of Marketing, Los Andes University, Bogota, Colombia), Dr. Carlos Velasco (BI Norwegian Business School, Norway) & Dr. Janice Wang (Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Denmark)

What we hear affects the perception of what we taste, no matter whether we realize it or not. Both music and ambient soundscapes have been shown to bias what we choose to buy/order in shops and restaurants/cafes (Biswas, Lund, & Szocs, 2018; Zellner, Geller, Lyons, Pyper, & Riaz, 2017), typically without us realizing it. Meanwhile, a separate literature has developed over the last decade on the topic of ‘sonic seasoning.’ This is where music is especially chosen, or composed, in order to correspond crossmodal with the taste / aroma / mouthfeel / flavour (Crisinel el al., 2012; Reinoso Carvalho et al., 2015; Wang & Spence, 2016). Interesting questions here concern where such surprising correspondences come from, and elucidating the conditions under which corresponding vs incongruent (or no music) do, versus do not influence the tasting experience and eating behaviours (e.g., Hauck & Hecht, in press; Höchenberger & Ohla, in press; Lowe, Ringler, & Haws; 2018, Watson & Gunter, 2017), and the neural consequences/underpinnings of such almost-synaesthetic crossmodal interactions (Callan, Callan, & Ando, 2018). A branch of this literature has also examined ‘sensation transference’ effects – addressing questions such as ‘If you like the music more, do you like what you are eating/drinking more too?’ (Kantono et al., 2015, 2016). Auditory inputs that influence the perception of what we taste are not limited to environmental sounds. They also involve the sounds that derived from what we eat such as slurping, crunching, or smacking as well as speech sounds that we use to refer to specific foods (see Spence, 2015, for a review).


When what we hear becomes too loud, it is usually regarded as noise. The research shows that loud background noise, be it airplane noise, white noise, or restaurant noise, can affect both the taste of food and drink, as well as people’s ability to discriminate various aspects of their tasting experience (see Spence, 2014, for a review). Given the increasing noise levels in many restaurants and bars these days, there may even be a public health angle to this research. Finally, given the growing literature on music and soundscape’s influence on the multisensory tasting experience, there is a growing interest in using technology to synchronize auditory stimulation with the tasting experience (see Spence, 2019, for a review). This is a rich area for creative practice (see also The Chocolate Symphony at this year’s IMRF meeting) and submissions are also welcomed in this area, providing they connect to the multisensory science.

Hence, despite its inauspicious beginnings 70 years ago (see Pettit, 1958), research on auditory contributions to food perception and behaviour has exploded in recent years, with interest coming from the fields of cognitive neuroscience, marketing, food science, design, branding, public health and beyond. As such, now would seem like an excellent time to capture the growing interest and excitement in this area with a Special Issue dedicated to the topic.

Deadline for submissions 1st December, 2018. Queries regarding the suitability of specific submissions etc. should be directed in the first instance to



Biswas, D., Lund, K., & Szocs, C. (2018). Sounds like a healthy retail atmospheric strategy: Effects of ambient music and background noise on food sales. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 1-19.

Callan, A., Callan, D., & Ando, H. (2018). Differential effects of music and pictures on taste perception –an fMRI study. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum. June, 14-17th June, Toronto, CA.

Crisinel, A.-S., Cosser, S., King, S., Jones, R., Petrie, J., & Spence, C. (2012). A bittersweet symphony: Systematically modulating the taste of food by changing the sonic properties of the soundtrack playing in the background. Food Quality and Preference, 24, 201-204.

Hauck, P., & Hecht, H. (in press). Having a drink with Tchaikovsky: The crossmodal influence of background music on the taste of beverages. Multisensory Research.

Höchenberger, R., & Ohla, K. (in press). A bittersweet symphony: Evidence for taste‐sound correspondences without effects on taste quality‐specific perception. Journal of Neuroscience Research.

Kantono, K., Hamid, N., Sheperd, D., Yoo, M. J. Y., Carr, B. T., & Grazioli, G. (2015). The effect of background music on food pleasantness ratings. Psychology of Music, 13, 1-15.

Kantono, K., Hamid, N., Sheperd, D., Yoo, M. J. Y., Grazioli, G., & Carr, T. (2016). Listening to music can influence hedonic and sensory perceptions of gelati. Appetite, 100, 244-255.

Lowe, M., Ringler, C., & Haws, K. (2018). An overture to overeating: The cross-modal effects of acoustic pitch on food preferences and serving behaviour. Appetite, 123, 128-134.

Pettit, L. A. (1958). The influence of test location and accompanying sound in flavor preference testing of tomato juice. Food Technology, 12, 55-57.

Reinoso Carvalho, F., Van Ee, R., Rychtarikova, M., Touhafi, A., Steenhaut, K., Persoone, D., Spence, C., & Leman, M. (2015). Does music influence the multisensory tasting experience? Journal of Sensory Studies30(5), 404-412.

Spence, C. (2014). Noise and its impact on the perception of food and drink. Flavour, 3:9.

Spence, C. (2015d). Eating with our ears: Assessing the importance of the sounds of consumption to our perception and enjoyment of multisensory flavour experiences. Flavour, 4:3.

Spence, C. (2019). Multisensory experiential wine marketing. Food Quality & Preference, 71, 106-116.

Wang, Q. (J.) & Spence, C. (2016). “Striking a sour note”: Assessing the influence of consonant and dissonant music on taste perception. Multisensory Research, 30, 195-208.

Watson, Q. J., & Gunter, K. L. (2017). Trombones elicit bitter more strongly than do clarinets: A partial replication of three studies of Crisinel and Spence. Multisensory Research, 30(3-5), 321-335.

Zellner, D., Geller, T., Lyons, S., Pyper, A., & Riaz, K. (2017). Ethnic congruence of music and food affects food selection but not liking. Food Quality & Preference, 56, Part A, 126-129.


Multisensory brand experience design

Next September 20th, 2018, I’ll give a talk about Multisensory brand experience design in BI Norwegian Business School’s «Marketing Research for Breakfast» (Oslo, Norway). This event format is a meeting place for researchers and practitioners in marketing where you – as a participant – get the opportunity to discuss how these results influence your company and business practice.

In this talk, I’ll also give a sneak preview of our upcoming edited book: Velasco, C. & Spence, C (Eds). (in press). Multisensory packaging: Designing new product experiences. Palgrave MacMillan.

All the information about the event, as well as the registration link, can be found here: Multisensory brand experience design.


Busan, South Korea.

Future of Computing & Food Manifesto

Last 31st May 2018, I co-organized, and took part in, an event on the “Future of Computing & Food” (part of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces 2018) in Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy. Here, a group of academics, practitioners, a Chef, and local food producers gathered and kick-started the co-creation of a Manifesto on the Future of Computing & Food. Below, I present the key points of the manifesto (click here for full access to the output document).


Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy.

Manifesto on the Future of Computing & Food

I. Educate people about the impact of ‘what they eat’ on their own health and wellbeing
II. Promote the sense of communal participation and its importance to food
III. Optimize food equality by reducing food waste and increasing access to nutritious food
IV. Help people in recognising the basic sensory, hedonic, and social functions of foods
V. Provide just-in-time feedback on purchase, storage and consumption of food
VI. Foster the relevance of personal, social, and cultural experiences related to food
VII. Enable data-driven (real-time, large scale) informed food policy decision making
VIII. Avoid one-fits-all solutions that undermine personal freedom of choice
IX. Ensure total transparency on the origin and heritage of food
X. Celebrate each actor in the food system (farmer to Chef) to create a sustainable system

The Future of Computing & Food

We’re organizing the satellite event “The Future of Computing & Food” on the 31st May 2018 in Grosseto, Italy, which is co-located with the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI) 2018 and co-sponsored by the ACM Future of Computing Academy (ACM-FCA). The ambition of this event is to discuss the developments around technology and food through involving a variety of different stakeholders, ranging from local food producers, chefs, artists, to designers, engineers, data scientists, psychologists.

acm-fca future of computing and food-01.png

We invite participation from representatives of both the computing and food industry, so that we can envisage the future of HCI beyond 2020. We aim to bring together this wide range of people from academia and industry to co-create and shape the agenda for the interwoven future of computing technology and the human sensory capabilities and multisensory potential.

In this event, we aim to formulate a Manifesto on the interwoven Future of Computing and Food. This manifesto will get inspiration from the debate raised by different and sometimes antipodal perspectives on food like for instance the ‘infamous’ Manifesto of Futurist Cuisine written by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1909, and the avant-garde’s riposte of the Slow Food Manifesto published by Gambero Rosso on 1987. Our Manifesto will envisage the future of food with the emergence of computing technology that is changing the way we cook, eat, drink and experience food.

Organizers: Marianna Obrist, Patrizia Marti, Carlos Velasco, Yunwen Tu, Takuji Narumi, Naja L. Holten Møller.

For more information, click here.

CfP: 3rd Workshop on Multisensory Approaches to Human-Food Interaction

We are organizing the 3rd workshop on “Multisensory approaches to human-food interaction” in October 16th, 2018. The workshop will be held in conjunction with the 20th ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction in Boulder (CO), USA. After organizing the 1st and 2nd ICMI workshops on “Multisensory Approaches to Human-Food Interaction” in Tokyo (2016) and Glasgow (2017), respectively, we decided to build on the success of these meetings by holding another in 2018. We have a great new team of organizers lined up: Anton Nijholt, Carlos Velasco, Marianna Obrist, Katsunori Okajima, and Charles Spence.


Click here to learn more about the call for paper. In summary though, we are calling for investigations and applications of systems that create new, or enhance already existing, eating and drinking experiences (‘hacking’ food experiences) in the context of Human-Food Interaction. Moreover, we are interested in those works that are based on the principles that govern the systematic connections that exist between the senses. Human Food Interaction also involves the experiencing food interactions digitally in remote locations. Therefore, in this workshop we are also interested in sensing and actuation interfaces, new communication mediums, and persisting and retrieving technologies for human food interactions. Enhancing social interactions to augment the eating experience is another issue we would like to see addressed in this workshop.

CfP: PhD students, join us in @ACMTVX’s exciting doctoral consortium next June in South Korea!

Doctoral Consortium at ACM TVX, Seoul, South Korea, June 26-28th, 2018

Funding options available!

Seoul, South Korea

Doctoral Consortium Chairs: Marianna Obrist (University of Sussex, UK) & Carlos Velasco (BI Norwegian Business School, Norway). Please contact the chairs through the email address:

ACM TVX is the leading international conference for presentation and discussion of research into online video, TV interaction, emerging media, and relevant user experiences.

The TVX Doctoral Consortium (DC) serves as a forum for PhD students to share ideas about the development, use, and evaluation of interactive television, high-definition TV, VR/AR media consumption, and online video user experiences. A great benefit would be to compare approaches, discuss research problems and receive feedback from senior experts of the International Interactive Television/Media community.

PhD students working on topics as below are invited to submit a paper to the Doctoral Consortium for TVX2018: Content production, systems & infrastructures, devices & interaction techniques, user experience & interaction design, media studies, immersive media experiences, alternate realities, data science and recommendations, business models & marketing, and innovative concepts and media art.

Key dates and facts:

• Submission deadline: 30 March 2018 (12:00pm PT)
• Doctoral consortium papers should use the regular SIGCHI paper format
• Submissions must be made via the PCS Submission System
• Notification: 30 April 2018
• Submissions between 2-4 pages (including references)
• Accepted contributions will be published in the Adjunct Proceedings indexed in ACM digital library

For information about the doctoral consortium, the submission guidelines, and student travel grants, please visit: