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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 892030, 10 pages
Research Article

Auditory Verbal Cues Alter the Perceived Flavor of Beverages and Ease of Swallowing: A Psychometric and Electrophysiological Analysis

Department of Communication Science and Disorders, Faculty of Health and Welfares, Prefectural University of Hiroshima, 1-1 Gakuen, Mihara, Hiroshima 723-0053, Japan

Received 18 April 2013; Revised 17 July 2013; Accepted 17 July 2013

Academic Editor: Nader Pouratian

Copyright © 2013 Aya Nakamura and Satoshi Imaizumi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated the possible effects of auditory verbal cues on flavor perception and swallow physiology for younger and elder participants. Apple juice, aojiru (grass) juice, and water were ingested with or without auditory verbal cues. Flavor perception and ease of swallowing were measured using a visual analog scale and swallow physiology by surface electromyography and cervical auscultation. The auditory verbal cues had significant positive effects on flavor and ease of swallowing as well as on swallow physiology. The taste score and the ease of swallowing score significantly increased when the participant’s anticipation was primed by accurate auditory verbal cues. There was no significant effect of auditory verbal cues on distaste score. Regardless of age, the maximum suprahyoid muscle activity significantly decreased when a beverage was ingested without auditory verbal cues. The interval between the onset of swallowing sounds and the peak timing point of the infrahyoid muscle activity significantly shortened when the anticipation induced by the cue was contradicted in the elderly participant group. These results suggest that auditory verbal cues can improve the perceived flavor of beverages and swallow physiology.