Researchers at the University of Tokyo have created a virtual reality system that works with smell and sight to manipulate users' perceptions of the taste of a cookie.
Takuji Narumi and her colleagues, who created the virtual reality system, dubbed it as Meta Cookie, reports Discovery News.
Participants wore a special mask that produces sights and smells and were given a plain cookie. They were shown an image of a certain type of cookie and then exposed to that scent. Researchers were able to choose from seven cookie scents, ranging from almond to strawberry to chocolate and maple.
When asked to describe what kind of cookie they believed they were eating, the subjects were regularly fooled by the virtual reality system. Despite eating a plain cookie, the olfactory and visual stimulation often caused subjects to believe they were eating, for example, a lemon-flavoured cookie.
Even though people were eating a cookie with no flavour, it still had the texture of the supposed cookie, making it difficult for a person to believe they were eating anything else, the report said.