Where’s The Chocolate?
The foods in question included apples, caramel cookies, chocolate, cucumbers, melons, peanuts, potato chips and tomatoes placed on specific tables. The 512 study participants were instructed to move from table to table and smell or taste the foods and then rate them for familiarity and likeability. Later they smelled or tasted the foods in random order and were asked to place them on a map of the room where the foods had been originally located. Results showed that participants were 27 percent better at correctly locating the high calorie foods they tasted and 28 percent more likely to locate the high calorie foods they smelled, compared to correctly locating the low-calorie foods. Study leader Rachelle de Vries of the Netherlands’ Wageningen University & Research wrote that the results appear to suggest that human minds are adapted to finding energy rich (i.e. high calorie) foods in an efficient way, adding that “this may have implications for how we navigate our modern food environment.”
Rachelle DeVries et al “Human spatial memory implicitly prioritizes high-calorie foods,” Scientific Reports, October 8, 2020, nature.com/articles/s41598-020-72570-x