Grasping a Fruit. Hands do what Flavour Says


Previous research on multisensory integration during goal-directed natural actions reported that visual, proprioceptive, auditory and orthonasal olfactory stimulation has the ability to influence motor control. In this study, we used kinematics to investigate the integration between vision and flavour perception during reach-to-grasp movements. Participants were requested to drink a sip of flavoured solution and then grasp an object presented in central vision. The results indicate that when the objects evoked by the flavour and by the visual target were of a similar size (i.e., large or small) and evoked the same kind of hand shaping in order to be grasped (i.e., congruent condition) facilitation effects emerged. Conversely, when the object evoked by the flavour and by the visual target was of a different size and evoked a different kind of hand shaping in order to be grasped (i.e., incongruent condition) interference effects emerged. Interference effects, however, were only evident for the combination involving a large visual target and a small flavour. When comparing hand kinematics between the congruent and a no flavour condition (i.e., water), facilitation effects emerged in favour of the former condition. Taken together, these results indicate the contribution of complex chemosensory stimuli for the planning and execution of visually guided reach to grasp movements. And, contribute to the current debate regarding the multisensory nature of the sensorimotor transformations underlying motor performance.

Appetite, 56(2), 249–254
Valentina Parma
Valentina Parma
Research Assistant Professor in Psychology