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Sunday, October 05, 2014

Fake Tongues and Taste in Virtual Reality

An article in the New Yorker looks at an extension of the 'Rubber Hand Illusion", which realisticaly fools the brain into thinking that a fake hand is their own.    Called the 'Butcher's Tongue Illusion'  this extends the same kind of sensory illusion idea to the tongue. Good article provides the background.   The implications and practical applications?

" ... The results of the butcher’s-tongue illusion suggest that, with further testing, it might be possible to one day enjoy out-of-body flavor experiences. To a person wearing Michel’s box, a Slim-Fast shake could be made to taste like a chocolate-fudge sundae, delivering a fraction of the calories and a great deal more pleasure. It’s the holy grail of dieters: a virtual-reality headset that makes those undressed salad leaves you’re dutifully eating taste like French fries or dark chocolate. At last, we could have nutritional restraint combined with sensory decadence, with no sacrifice  ... " required.

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