Facial expression changes characteristically with the emotions induced by basic tastes in humans. We tested the hypothesis that the five basic tastes also elicit unique responses in facial skin blood flow. Facial skin blood flow was measured using laser speckle flowgraphy in 16 healthy subjects before and during the application of basic taste stimuli in the oral cavity for 20 s. The skin blood flow in the eyelid increased in response to sweet and umami taste stimuli, while that in the nose decreased in response to a bitter stimulus. There was a significant correlation between the subjective hedonic scores accompanying these taste stimuli and the above changes in skin blood flow. These results demonstrate that sweet, umami, and bitter tastes induce unique changes in facial skin blood flow that reflect subjective hedonic scores.
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