Do you have coffee in hand? (Beer works too!) Press the first play button below, sip on your cup of joe (or pint of ale), and try to describe how it tastes.
Hmm, how’d that taste? Bitter? Sweet? Smooth? Now try it again with this clip:
The first clip should have made your drink taste more bitter, and the second one should have made it sweeter. Crazy, right? You were still sipping on the same beverage, after all.
The shift in taste is due to a nifty phenomenon called “sonic seasoning,” which The Science of Us introduced to us. Your brain gets overloaded with sensory information (hearing and tasting at the same time). In the second clip, for example, the high-pitched music draws your focus to the sweet taste of the coffee. But it’s not just a fun party trick. British Airways uses this science to curate playlists in hopes of counteracting the impacts that high altitudes have on your tastebuds and ultimately make airplane food taste better.
Maybe you’ll think twice before making that dinnertime playlist.
(h/t The Science of Us)