A recent series of experiments from the University of Singapore confirm that we not only correlate the word love with sweetness, but it turns out, romance might just be making us perceive the things we eat and drink as sweeter too!
The researchers conducted two experiments. In the first, participants were asked to rate how emotions like love and jealousy related to different tastes. In the second, subjects thought about an open-ended question "If love were a taste, what would it be?".
They then primed another group to feel either love or jealousy before eating sweet and sour candy and bittersweet chocolate samples. They were asked to write their personal experiences with romantic love, while others were asked to write about experiencing romantic jealousy.
People who wrote about love rated their samples as sweeter than the jealousy or landmark groups. The jealousy group didn't find their candy as any more bitter or sour, despite the correlation in the questionnaires in the first tests.
But why is this so? Researchers hypothesize that it could have something to do with the shared neural reward circuitry associated with love and sweetness. According to studies the anterior cingulate cortex in the brain plays a role in anticipating reward, and is activated by looking at pictures of romantic partners and by tasting sugar.
What do you think? Does food taste better when you are in love? The study appears in the journal Emotion.
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