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Working paper

EEG correlates of perceived food product similarity in a cross-modal taste-visual task

Domracheva M., Kulikova S.
The most common tools to understand perception of food products are hall-tests, surveys, observations, etc. However to get reliable results these approaches require large samples, making them costly and time-consuming. Furthermore, they are also highly expert-dependent and rely on the assumption that study participants can express their preferences consciously and explicitly. Here we suggested an EEG-based approach to evaluate perceived product similarity in a cross-modal taste-visual task. Two candidate neurometrics measured from Fz electrode were tested: the amplitude of N430-620 from evoked response potentials (ERP) and the power of induced gamma oscillations during 400-600 ms period after visual stimulus presentation. Both suggested metrics showed a strong correlation with the perceived similarity scores at both individual and group levels, however N430-630 had greater inter-subject variability making it less suitable for practical applications. The results based on the power of induced gamma oscillations (N=18) not only reflected the results from traditional hall-tests (N=200) but also allowed better discrimination between different food products.