Spence has also moved on to examining the visual cues that can affect the dining experience, including colors. In one study, for example, he found that people plating food onto the same color plate -- in this case, red pasta sauce on a red plate, or white pasta sauce on a white plate -- served themselves significantly larger portions. The practicality of this knowledge is pretty obvious to anyone who's trying portion control, or is currently at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
“There is certainly an emerging body of knowledge, and the more evidence we get that vision and hearing are connected, the stronger the reason to believe that when we start investigating sound and touch, or touch and scent, that they, too, will be connected in much the same way,” Spence observes. “Underpinning much of our research is belief that there are many fundamental issues and questions about our experience that no one investigates.” You get the feeling that the "no one investigates" part is genuine, as he continues offering potential research angles, like whether or not eating with your hands rather than cutlery can make your food taste better.