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Announcing the 2018 Frontiers of Science Award Lecturer

The Society is delighted to announce that Professor Charles Spence (Oxford University), a world-famous experimental psychologist with a specialization in neuroscience-inspired multisensory design, has confirmed his attendance to the 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting & Technology Showcase (December 11-12, 2018 | Sheraton New York Times Square) as this year’s Frontiers of Science Award Lecturer (Sponsored by Cosmetics & Toiletries).


Professor Spence has worked with many of the world’s largest companies across the globe since establishing the Crossmodal Research Laboratory (CRL) at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University in 1997. Prof. Spence has published over 850 articles and edited or authored, 10 academic volumes including, in 2014, the Prose prize-winning “The perfect meal”, and the recent bestseller “Gastrophysics: The new science of eating” (2017; Penguin Viking).

Much of Prof. Spence’s work focuses on the design of enhanced multisensory food and drink experiences, through collaborations with chefs, baristas, mixologists, perfumiers, and the food and beverage, and flavor and fragrance industries. Prof. Spence has also worked extensively on the question of how technology will transform our dining experiences in the future.

His lecture

Presenting Neuroscience-Inspired Multisensory Design in the Cosmetics Sector’, Professor Spence will demonstrate how what we smell can influence all manner of perceptual experiences. He will show how techniques adapted from the field of human psychophysics are increasingly being used by those working with fragrance to support functional claims around olfactory stimulation: Everything from the use of fragrance to make your clothes feel softer through making people look more attractive, and their skin younger looking. He also wants to look in the reverse direction and show how what we feel, see, and even what we hear can modulate what we perceive when we smell.

He will discuss some of the latest research from the Crossmodal Research Laboratory around the synaesthetic matching of olfactory stimuli to shapes, sounds, and palettes of colour in normal consumers (while highlighting relevant cross-cultural differences). He will show how the neuroscience-inspired approach can help make sense of the plethora of such crossmodal interactions, and finally provide some examples to illustrate how such results are currently being used in the field of design in the cosmetics sector.

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