Obesely Speaking

The brain and obesity

Betrayal of the Tongue

Inability to fully detect taste, and subsequent compromises in taste perception drives overeaters to consume excess calorie-dense foods Read More

Really enjoyed this article.

I really found this article enlightening. It's the first new stuff I have learned about eating in a long time. Thanks, Glenn

Your comment

Thank you so much for the kind comment. I'm glad you found useful information in this.


Fantastic article, Dr. Gordon.
Your knowledge of the tongue is unmatched.
Thanks for sharing. Perhaps you would like to
write a blog on plastic surgery and eating.

Dr. Neavin

Your comment

Thank you Dr. Neavin. One blog is more than I can handle. But I'm sure Psychology Today might welcome a blog on Plastic Surgery and Psychology. You should consider it, considering you've done pioneering research, published great papers, and you're an excellent board certified plastic surgeon as well.

Taste on my mouth

Thank you so much for another insightful and informative entry.
I am lucky to have read this article around the same time my sister encouraged me to "really taste the food that is in my mouth." I noticed some strange things. FIrst, it seems the front part of my tounge really does not taste much. The areas that seem most sensitive are the back part of my tongue, especially the sides (my friend once complained that a dessert was not even enough to 'fill her back tooth' and that struck me as the area I am talking about). When I am eating compulsively, I really like big bites that fill that back part of my mouth. The most sensitive parts seem to be the sides of the back of my tongue and strangely enough, the top of my mouth right at the swallow point, Does that make any sense at all? From your diagram of the tongue, I thought maybe you would have some insight. Or I am just weird. :o)-
Thank you again!

Your comment

Thank you for the kind words. I'm sure your situation makes sense to someone, but regrettably, I am not a gustatory expert, so honestly, I have no clue. I do think however, that when we're compulsively eating, something different is gong on. Did you read my first blog post about Habit Formation. i think that may give you some further insight into why, when you compulsively eat, your consumption habits are different.

smell, taste and overeating

This was very interesting. I haven't had a sense of smell for as long as I can remember--I'll catch a whiff now and then, but it never lasts. People always ask me, "If you can't smell, how can you taste?" And I was also hard pressed to explain: I CAN taste, but I don't think it's the same way most people do, and I definitely miss the subtleties. Jell-O pretty much all tastes the same to me, for example. (Oddly enough, I'm a great cook. But I add in ingredients that I can't actually taste myself!)

Your distinction between taste and flavor explained a lot!

I wonder what role that may play in my weight issues...some sensory satiety perceptor that isn't being triggered, making it harder to feel satisfied.

Your comment

Thanks for taking time to share your situation. That's interesting that all Jello tastes the same to you... I've never heard of that. Definitely, there is something going on, but I have no idea what that is. I suspect your taste and flavor perceptions contribute to your food consumption, and subsequently, your weight issues. Of course, not knowing you, or being a neuroscientist who specializes in gustatory issues, I am not qualified to give you an informed opinion. I am glad i could help a little. And thanks for nice comments,

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Billi Gordon, Ph.D., is Chair of the Advisory Committee for Collective Concerns in Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.


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