More Than Meets the Eye: Flavor Perception, Facial Expression Analysis, and Predicting Food Choice Behavior

Flavor perception and food choice behavior

Join Jason Rogers, PhD and Geertje van Bergen, PhD as they take us on a sensory deep dive into flavor perception, facial expression analysis, and food choice and consumption behavior.

Date | Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Time | 8:00 AM PT / 11:00 AM ET / 4:00 PM CET

Duration | 60 minutes


Humans are remarkably visual individuals. But what if that sense failed us, or was diametrically opposed to one of our other senses? Can our eyes deceive our flavor perception? 

In the first half of the webinar, Jason will discuss the results of a sensory experiment in which participants were instructed to smell and taste four cups of water prepared with food coloring, artificial flavoring, and sweetened with palm sugar. He will also delve into facial expression analysis and how it can be a powerful tool to assess consumer reactions. 

Geertje will then discuss research methods and techniques that go beyond traditional sensory and hedonic consumer tests, to better predict the commercial success of novel food products. She will present examples of research projects in which combined research methods are used to study the processes underlying consumers’ food choice and consumption behavior.


Key learning objectives

  • A 'sensory Stroop' test is a discrimination test that creates a sensory match and mismatch of visual and taste sensations
  • Facial expression analysis is an established tool for evaluating consumer behavior
  • Facial muscles, called Action Units, are a comprehensive, anatomically-based system for describing anatomical movement of the face
  • Facial action units are a powerful research tool for predicting consumer responses.

Geertje van Bergen WUR

Geertje van Bergen, PhD

Geertje van Bergen is a consumer scientist at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research since 2019. As experimental psycholinguist (PhD, 2011) she spent several years investigating real-time language processing using eye-tracking and EEG methodology. Her current research focuses on the processes underlying food perception, choice and consumption.


Jason Rogers, PhD

Jason Rogers is a Senior Research Scientist at Noldus Information Technology. He has a doctorate in psychology with a focus on the neurobiology of learning and memory. Jason joined Noldus in 2008 as Application Specialist and lead trainer. Since then, he has given hundreds of training courses and presentations around the world.

Jason Rogers 2