Sensory testing

Virtual Reality Sensory Lab

If you want to be the maker of the next big food item on grocery store shelves, this place is going to sound like a dream. The Parker Food Science and Technology Building has a virtual reality sensory lab for studying people’s responses to food-related cues.

One room has a wall covered with high-definition video screens, surround-sound speakers and a spout to pump aromas into the room.

Another room lets researchers measure physiological data, such as a subject’s heart and respiration rates, to look for unconscious reactions to food-related stimuli such as flavors, packaging and even company logos.