Examining cross-modal correspondence between ambient color and taste perception in virtual reality

Zhen Wu, Rongkai Shi, Ziming Li, Mengqi Jiang, Yue Li, Lingyun Yu, Hai Ning Liang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This research explores the cross-modal correspondence effect of ambient color on people’s taste perception in virtual reality (VR). To this end, we designed and conducted two experiments to investigate whether and how taste-congruent ambient colors in VR influence taste perception measured by four aspects: 1) taste ratings of a neutral drink; 2) taste association with virtual environments; 3) associated scenarios when immersed in these virtual environments; and 4) participants’ liking of these environments. In Experiment 1, participants adjusted the ambient light with different cross-modal-related colors in the immersive environments and reported their scaling of the Virtual Reality Sickness Questionnaire (VRSQ). Comfortable light intensity for each ambient color was obtained and color recognition problems were observed. In Experiment 2, participants tasted black tea (as the neutral drink), after being exposed to eight different virtual environments with different ambient colors. Results showed that the pink ambient color significantly increased the sweetness ratings. Differences in the color-taste association and environment liking were also observed in the ambient color conditions. Our results provide new insights into the cross-modal correspondence effect on ambient color and taste perception not found in prior work in VR scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1056782
JournalFrontiers in Virtual Reality
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022


  • cross-modal correspondence
  • human-food interaction
  • tasting
  • user study
  • virtual reality
  • visual perception


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