In Search of Scientific Accuracy

In Proust’s masterwork, it probably wasn’t the sweet taste of that madelaine that unleashed the remembrance of things past. Rather, it was likely to have been the buttery odor that stimulated the narrator’s hippocampus and hypothalamus. See how an understanding of neuroscience adds to the enjoyment of interminable classics of French literature?

-From the Physiology of Taste by Michael Berry

This article is an amazing thing. It’s the colloquial and friendly piece that moves from talking about “scarfing down a chili dog, fries and a Bud at a baseball game” to making Proust jokes. If we have a canon in America, I’m so glad it covers at least these things, and also can teach me how taste works. Not to get too platonic about it, but canons–like the hippocampus–dictate taste anyway.

Great books, indeed. Happy Friday.


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