C h a r l e s M i c h e l


The ‘Fake-Tongue’ Illusion,
in The New Yorker - Tech. 

An article covering the publication of our last published paper at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, on the new research paradigm that takes touch ‘out of the mouth’. Some extracts:
We must eat to survive, and the tongue and the eyes are essential in guiding that consumption.
It’s the first time that vision had been shown to influence perception of an internal organ as strongly as it does external body parts.
Following that logic, it’s possible that simply incorporating a magnifying glass into Michel’s cardboard box might boost flavor perception, making a food seem to taste more like itself—a sort of neuro-M.S.G., without the headaches!
The researchers plan to continue this line of investigation, with the goal of understanding how the brain integrates taste, smell, sight, and tactile sensations to create flavor experience ·
Original article to be found here
The ‘Fake-Tongue’ Illusion,
in The New Yorker - Tech. 

An article covering the publication of our last published paper at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, on the new research paradigm that takes touch ‘out of the mouth’. Some extracts:
We must eat to survive, and the tongue and the eyes are essential in guiding that consumption.
It’s the first time that vision had been shown to influence perception of an internal organ as strongly as it does external body parts.
Following that logic, it’s possible that simply incorporating a magnifying glass into Michel’s cardboard box might boost flavor perception, making a food seem to taste more like itself—a sort of neuro-M.S.G., without the headaches!
The researchers plan to continue this line of investigation, with the goal of understanding how the brain integrates taste, smell, sight, and tactile sensations to create flavor experience ·
Original article to be found here

The ‘Fake-Tongue’ Illusion,

in The New Yorker - Tech. 

An article covering the publication of our last published paper at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, on the new research paradigm that takes touch ‘out of the mouth’. Some extracts:

  • We must eat to survive, and the tongue and the eyes are essential in guiding that consumption.
  • It’s the first time that vision had been shown to influence perception of an internal organ as strongly as it does external body parts.
  • Following that logic, it’s possible that simply incorporating a magnifying glass into Michel’s cardboard box might boost flavor perception, making a food seem to taste more like itself—a sort of neuro-M.S.G., without the headaches!
  • The researchers plan to continue this line of investigation, with the goal of understanding how the brain integrates taste, smell, sight, and tactile sensations to create flavor experience ·

Original article to be found here



The Aerobanquet, created with Food Artist Caroline Hobkinson at Farnborough’s Windtunnel earlier this year. The Dream of Flying, food for sensory deprived environments and a flavour journey through Q121, a historical building where the aerodynamics of engines and airplanes were tested. Here, a picture of the Duck dish served in a performatic act, on the 19th of June, for Royal Air Force Officers and Artliner guests.
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The Aerobanquet, created with Food Artist Caroline Hobkinson at Farnborough’s Windtunnel earlier this year. The Dream of Flying, food for sensory deprived environments and a flavour journey through Q121, a historical building where the aerodynamics of engines and airplanes were tested. Here, a picture of the Duck dish served in a performatic act, on the 19th of June, for Royal Air Force Officers and Artliner guests.


A few weeks ago, I was invited to the Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen to discuss certain ideas on food perception, on behalf of Charles Spence’s Crossmodal Research Lab.
We talked about several ways in which ‘Crossmodal’ thinking can be applied to culinary experience design (from tactile enhancement to visual presentations and flavour illusions).
We are now starting to collaborate on a study on food (visual) aesthetics. On this picture Ashley Hatton, Deiniol Pritchard, Chef Jonny Lake, Spence, Heston and F. McGlone. Amazing team! View Larger

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen to discuss certain ideas on food perception, on behalf of Charles Spence’s Crossmodal Research Lab.

We talked about several ways in which ‘Crossmodal’ thinking can be applied to culinary experience design (from tactile enhancement to visual presentations and flavour illusions).

We are now starting to collaborate on a study on food (visual) aesthetics. On this picture Ashley Hatton, Deiniol Pritchard, Chef Jonny Lake, Spence, Heston and F. McGlone. Amazing team!


Cook and Pianist. The experimental event where a Classical Music repertoire of Liszt and Wagner met with a performatic 5-course tasting menu. The most important insight was to understand that while Music tends to heighten the spirits and thoughts, food tends to bring the senses ‘down’ to Earth. Both sensory experiences need to be enjoyed in full attention, not simultaneously. However, this event reinforces the idea that having a Crossmodal (both artistic and scientific) approach to experience design is certainly powerful and inspiring. And what great collaboration of beautiful humans we created, thank you Monsieur @chrislloydpianist ! (at The London Sketch Club) View Larger

Cook and Pianist. The experimental event where a Classical Music repertoire of Liszt and Wagner met with a performatic 5-course tasting menu. The most important insight was to understand that while Music tends to heighten the spirits and thoughts, food tends to bring the senses ‘down’ to Earth. Both sensory experiences need to be enjoyed in full attention, not simultaneously. However, this event reinforces the idea that having a Crossmodal (both artistic and scientific) approach to experience design is certainly powerful and inspiring. And what great collaboration of beautiful humans we created, thank you Monsieur @chrislloydpianist ! (at The London Sketch Club)


In print, Perception Journal. “The Butcher’s Tongue Illusion”, a new experimental paradigm developed at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory (University of Oxford) that takes touch ‘out of the mouth’. The touch people see being applied to a fake (mirrored) tongue is felt on their own tongue. 

Will we ever be able to do the same with taste? Interesting implications to understand the neural basis of multisensory integration in the tongue (flavour?), and fun to imagine that we can create ‘virtual’ sensations, if the appropriate (i.e. correlated) stimuli are provided. This paradigm could be used in human-computer interaction, clinical sciences, gaming, and generates interesting philosophical questionings in gastronomy: if we can make the brain ‘believe’ or ‘sense’ something that is not a direct stimulation, how much of our expectations and past experiences ‘make up’ what we believe to be eating/drinking?

#Gastrophysics #perception #science #paradigm #illusion #brain #food View Larger

In print, Perception Journal. “The Butcher’s Tongue Illusion”, a new experimental paradigm developed at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory (University of Oxford) that takes touch ‘out of the mouth’. The touch people see being applied to a fake (mirrored) tongue is felt on their own tongue.

Will we ever be able to do the same with taste? Interesting implications to understand the neural basis of multisensory integration in the tongue (flavour?), and fun to imagine that we can create ‘virtual’ sensations, if the appropriate (i.e. correlated) stimuli are provided. This paradigm could be used in human-computer interaction, clinical sciences, gaming, and generates interesting philosophical questionings in gastronomy: if we can make the brain ‘believe’ or ‘sense’ something that is not a direct stimulation, how much of our expectations and past experiences ‘make up’ what we believe to be eating/drinking?

#Gastrophysics #perception #science #paradigm #illusion #brain #food


Heaven on Earth? Heaven is Earth. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in awareness; not only in the material, essentially in the spiritual… Research has shown that being in touch with Nature (as compared to artificial environments) increases human wellness and productivity; evident, that’s where we come from. We are the thinking matter of Nature, one and single entity with her. In my view, today’s disfunctions (social, and ecological) come mostly from a disconnection from the instinctive, animal in us. We are Nature • www.charlesmichel.co (at Bonnetan, Aquitaine, France) View Larger

Heaven on Earth? Heaven is Earth. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in awareness; not only in the material, essentially in the spiritual… Research has shown that being in touch with Nature (as compared to artificial environments) increases human wellness and productivity; evident, that’s where we come from. We are the thinking matter of Nature, one and single entity with her. In my view, today’s disfunctions (social, and ecological) come mostly from a disconnection from the instinctive, animal in us. We are Nature • www.charlesmichel.co (at Bonnetan, Aquitaine, France)


• And that sweet city with her dreaming spires. She needs not June for beauty’s heightening • M. Arnold, another Oxford lover.  (at Radcliffe Camera) View Larger

• And that sweet city with her dreaming spires. She needs not June for beauty’s heightening • M. Arnold, another Oxford lover. (at Radcliffe Camera)


Never been so excited about using the power of Music for a culinary event… Siegfried Idyll played by a quintet of 5 lovely Muses from London’s Royal Academy of Music. Chapeau Mr. @chrislloydpianist, feeling humbled by all the beauty that will surround the evening of the 13th of September 2014… View Larger

Never been so excited about using the power of Music for a culinary event… Siegfried Idyll played by a quintet of 5 lovely Muses from London’s Royal Academy of Music. Chapeau Mr. @chrislloydpianist, feeling humbled by all the beauty that will surround the evening of the 13th of September 2014…


#AstronautFood Collaboration between Oxford’s Crossmodal Lab and the FDEK. Meeting in a few minutes with astronaut Tim Peake to get insights from his taste buds and preferences in order to design a food that will leave to the @ISS with him in November this year. #SpaceFood #Senses #Psychology #FDEK #Experiment (at The Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen) View Larger

#AstronautFood Collaboration between Oxford’s Crossmodal Lab and the FDEK. Meeting in a few minutes with astronaut Tim Peake to get insights from his taste buds and preferences in order to design a food that will leave to the @ISS with him in November this year. #SpaceFood #Senses #Psychology #FDEK #Experiment (at The Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen)


"In this manifesto, we claim that this transfer of knowledge represents much more than merely another addition to the art and science of cuisine: it is its essential completion, as gastronomy moves more and more toward the ideal of a total multisensory art, as captivating for the eye as it is for the palate".
First part of the Manifesto out now, open access: a historical review on the art and science of food presentation. From Carême to Achatz, via Fernand Point.
http://bit.ly/1lGJ1x3 View Larger

"In this manifesto, we claim that this transfer of knowledge represents much more than merely another addition to the art and science of cuisine: it is its essential completion, as gastronomy moves more and more toward the ideal of a total multisensory art, as captivating for the eye as it is for the palate".

First part of the Manifesto out now, open access: a historical review on the art and science of food presentation. From Carême to Achatz, via Fernand Point.

http://bit.ly/1lGJ1x3


Yesterday evening we cooked an experiential dinner for the ‘Strategic Leadership Programme’ of Oxford’s Business School with @chrislloydpianist and Alejandro Salgado - @ExpSociety (at Oxford Saïd Business School - Egrove Park) View Larger

Yesterday evening we cooked an experiential dinner for the ‘Strategic Leadership Programme’ of Oxford’s Business School with @chrislloydpianist and Alejandro Salgado - @ExpSociety (at Oxford Saïd Business School - Egrove Park)


“Colour is forever a part of our food, a visual element to which human eyes, minds, emotions and palates are sensitive. Perhaps through eons of time, man has come to build up strong and intuitive associations between what he sees and what he eats. A good meal, to say the least, is always a beautiful sight to behold.”
Birren (1963) in ‘Color and human appetite’. Food Technology, 17: 45-47. View Larger

“Colour is forever a part of our food, a visual element to which human eyes, minds, emotions and palates are sensitive. Perhaps through eons of time, man has come to build up strong and intuitive associations between what he sees and what he eats. A good meal, to say the least, is always a beautiful sight to behold.”

Birren (1963) in ‘Color and human appetite’. Food Technology, 17: 45-47.


On the 11th of April 2014, in Bogotá, I cooked for a Multisensory theatrical experience with the 401B Company, as a gift to our closer Friends. 
The event had theatrical components in the 13 rooms of the house; the acts of the menu were sewed with a narrative that played with the expectations and emotions of the guests, putting forward the richness of Colombian ingredients.

This new form of culinary experience was designed from sensory science insights and artistic intuition.
Note: the pictures shown here were borrowed from our guests.On the 11th of April 2014, in Bogotá, I cooked for a Multisensory theatrical experience with the 401B Company, as a gift to our closer Friends. 
The event had theatrical components in the 13 rooms of the house; the acts of the menu were sewed with a narrative that played with the expectations and emotions of the guests, putting forward the richness of Colombian ingredients.

This new form of culinary experience was designed from sensory science insights and artistic intuition.
Note: the pictures shown here were borrowed from our guests.On the 11th of April 2014, in Bogotá, I cooked for a Multisensory theatrical experience with the 401B Company, as a gift to our closer Friends. 
The event had theatrical components in the 13 rooms of the house; the acts of the menu were sewed with a narrative that played with the expectations and emotions of the guests, putting forward the richness of Colombian ingredients.

This new form of culinary experience was designed from sensory science insights and artistic intuition.
Note: the pictures shown here were borrowed from our guests.On the 11th of April 2014, in Bogotá, I cooked for a Multisensory theatrical experience with the 401B Company, as a gift to our closer Friends. 
The event had theatrical components in the 13 rooms of the house; the acts of the menu were sewed with a narrative that played with the expectations and emotions of the guests, putting forward the richness of Colombian ingredients.

This new form of culinary experience was designed from sensory science insights and artistic intuition.
Note: the pictures shown here were borrowed from our guests.On the 11th of April 2014, in Bogotá, I cooked for a Multisensory theatrical experience with the 401B Company, as a gift to our closer Friends. 
The event had theatrical components in the 13 rooms of the house; the acts of the menu were sewed with a narrative that played with the expectations and emotions of the guests, putting forward the richness of Colombian ingredients.

This new form of culinary experience was designed from sensory science insights and artistic intuition.
Note: the pictures shown here were borrowed from our guests.On the 11th of April 2014, in Bogotá, I cooked for a Multisensory theatrical experience with the 401B Company, as a gift to our closer Friends. 
The event had theatrical components in the 13 rooms of the house; the acts of the menu were sewed with a narrative that played with the expectations and emotions of the guests, putting forward the richness of Colombian ingredients.

This new form of culinary experience was designed from sensory science insights and artistic intuition.
Note: the pictures shown here were borrowed from our guests.

On the 11th of April 2014, in Bogotá, I cooked for a Multisensory theatrical experience with the 401B Company, as a gift to our closer Friends. 

The event had theatrical components in the 13 rooms of the house; the acts of the menu were sewed with a narrative that played with the expectations and emotions of the guests, putting forward the richness of Colombian ingredients.

This new form of culinary experience was designed from sensory science insights and artistic intuition.

Note: the pictures shown here were borrowed from our guests.


Presenting ‘A taste of Kandinsky’ at the Triennale in Milan in March 2014. Talking about art-inspired culinary experience design and the senses, I was kindly invited to take part in this event by London’s Centre for the Study of the Senses (Ophelia Deroy and Barry Smith), at the Institute of Philosophy, University of London. Presenting ‘A taste of Kandinsky’ at the Triennale in Milan in March 2014. Talking about art-inspired culinary experience design and the senses, I was kindly invited to take part in this event by London’s Centre for the Study of the Senses (Ophelia Deroy and Barry Smith), at the Institute of Philosophy, University of London. Presenting ‘A taste of Kandinsky’ at the Triennale in Milan in March 2014. Talking about art-inspired culinary experience design and the senses, I was kindly invited to take part in this event by London’s Centre for the Study of the Senses (Ophelia Deroy and Barry Smith), at the Institute of Philosophy, University of London. 

Presenting ‘A taste of Kandinsky’ at the Triennale in Milan in March 2014. Talking about art-inspired culinary experience design and the senses, I was kindly invited to take part in this event by London’s Centre for the Study of the Senses (Ophelia Deroy and Barry Smith), at the Institute of Philosophy, University of London. 


'Could it be that umami-rich tomato provides one of the only basic tastes that is relatively unaffected by the loud background noise that one is exposed to while in flight? That is the research suggestion, or hypothesis, outlined in this opinion piece. Should such a claim be validated by future research, the potential application for airline catering could be huge.'
This opinion piece, published (open access) in Flavour Journal, came out from discussions on airplane food design between Barry Smith, Heston Blumenthal and Charles Spence. We realised how often, intuitively, we would choose a tomato-based drink while flying, and came to this research hypothesis. Download the paper for free here.
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'Could it be that umami-rich tomato provides one of the only basic tastes that is relatively unaffected by the loud background noise that one is exposed to while in flight? That is the research suggestion, or hypothesis, outlined in this opinion piece. Should such a claim be validated by future research, the potential application for airline catering could be huge.'

This opinion piece, published (open access) in Flavour Journal, came out from discussions on airplane food design between Barry Smith, Heston Blumenthal and Charles Spence. We realised how often, intuitively, we would choose a tomato-based drink while flying, and came to this research hypothesis. Download the paper for free here.