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Flavour Pleasantness (Regular Products)

Participants were randomly assigned to two experimental groups. The first group (n=23, mean age = 23.43, SD=2.33, range: 21–28) was recruited to taste 8 commercially available drinks (referred to as regular products) during a morning session. The second group (n=22, mean age = 24.67, SD=3.37, range: 21–33) was recruited to taste 6 ONS (oral nutritional supplements) products in the afternoon. These two groups were independent (i.e. no participant participated in both groups).
Participants engaged in a tasting task containing 48 or 36 trials for the regular products and ONS group, respectively. During the course of the experiment, participants received visual cues and instructions in Dutch via a paradigm constructed in E-prime (Psychology Software Tools Inc., Pittsburgh). Every flavor stimulus was delivered 6 times balanced over all imaging runs and counterbalanced between participants. The paradigm was presented during four and three imaging runs, for the regular products and ONS group, respectively. Each imaging run lasted for approximately 15 minutes (depending on reaction times) and contained a series of 12 trials. During each trial, participants were warned for an upcoming taste delivery by an asterisk appearing centered on the screen (duration: 2s.). Subsequently, 2 ml of a taste stimulus was delivered in the mouth and participants were instructed to taste this stimulus with the cue "Taste" (in Dutch: "Proeven", duration: 3.5s.). After tasting, participants were instructed to swallow the solution, cued as "Swallow" (in Dutch: "Slikken", duration: 4s.), followed by a period in which they needed to passively "Judge" the taste (in Dutch: "Beoordelen", duration: 22.5s.). We chose this long period to assure that BOLD responses associated with rating and tasting had minimal overlap. Finally, a 7-point Likert scale appeared on the screen, ranging from "very unpleasant" to "very pleasant". Participants were instructed to express perceived pleasantness of the taste on the scale by using a button box held in their right hand. Every trial ended with a rinsing procedure, in which participants received a 2 ml bolus of a 5% artificial saliva solution (Saliva Orthana, TM) twice. The entire paradigm lasted for approximately 90 minutes, in which either 288 ml or 216 ml of liquid was consumed, for the regular products and ONS group, respectively. As baseline, we included four 15-second periods in each imaging run within both data sets, during which the participant was looking at a black screen with a red cross centered in the middle.
MRI scans were performed using a 3-Tesla MR scanner (Philips Intera, Best, the Netherlands) equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A T1-weighted 3D fast field echo (FFE) whole brain image was obtained in transverse orientation for anatomical reference. Acquisition parameters: field of view (FOV) 256 × 232 × 170 mm3 (rl, ap, fh); voxel size 1 mm isotropic; TR = 9 ms; TE = 3.5 ms; flip angle 8º; SENSE factors: 2.5, 1 (ap, fh); 170 slices, scan duration = 246.3s. Functional brain images were acquired in sagittal orientation using the Principles of Echo-Shifting with a Train of Observations (PRESTO) sequence. Acquisition parameters: FOV 153 × 230 × 230 mm3 (rl, ap, fh); voxel size 2.87 × 2.87 × 3 mm3; TR = 20 ms; TE = 30 ms; flip angle 7º; SENSE factors: 1.9, 1.9 (rl, ap); scan time per volume 1.532s. As the experiment was self-paced, the number of volumes per imaging run ranged between 580 and 600.
Due to technical difficulties with the gustometer or scanner, data was missing for several trials. We removed participants missing more than 25% of their data (3 ONS group, 1 regular drinks group). Furthermore, 1 participant in the regular drinks group was removed due to a brain abnormality. Therefore, fMRI analysis was performed on data from 19 and 21 participants for the ONS and regular drinks groups, respectively.
We experienced technical difficulties with the PRESTO sequence. As a result, several PRESTO images were missing at the start of imaging runs for 10 participants (on average 0.054% per data set).

NOTE: This study has two datasets asscoiated with it. One for ONS products(ds000218) and other for RP products (ds000219)

The paradigm is similar to but with some adjustments.


  • Gert J. ter Horst
  • L. Nanetti
  • Remco J. Renken
  • Liselore Weitkamp
  • Jelle R. Dalenberg

Contact Information:

Name: Jelle R. Dalenberg

Acknowledgements and Funding:

Funding source: TIFN SL001

External Publication Links:

Flavor pleasantness processing in the ventral emotion network.

Sample Size:


Scanner Type:

Philips Intera 3T



Accession Number:


How to cite this dataset:

In addition to any citation requirements in the dataset summary please use the following to cite this dataset:

This data was obtained from the OpenfMRI database. Its accession number is ds000219



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Revision: 1.0.0 Date Set: Feb. 1, 2017, midnight


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