Dementia sufferers can lose their capacity to understand sights, sounds and words. In certain cases, researchers say, they have a harder time identifying flavors and determining whether a certain flavor combination would generally be considered unusual.
According to the boffins, those with a specific type of dementia, called semantic dementia, face such a problem, reports Live Science.
The new study suggests that this type of semantic dementia causes a semantic deficit across the board (semantics is the study of meaning).
"It's quite interesting and unexpected that one would find these sensory signals behaving in the same way words or music might behave," said study researcher Jason Warren, of the University College London. "Flavor information is one example of a complex environmental signal that people can lose understanding about, it's part of a more general problem," he said.
The results are published in the June issue of the journal Cortex.