A new study is so fascinating that we immediately wondered how it would apply to words. You, of course, are our greatest resource for insight. After you read about the experiment, help us think about how word meanings change depending on what else is going on around you.

Researchers at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory are investigating how our different senses impact each other, and they recently conducted a trial to learn how sound affects taste.

(What is this sensory confusion technically called? Synesthesia. Read more about the peculiar sensations here.)

The test subjects were given pieces of toffee. First, when they ate the toffee, low-pitched music played in headphones. Then, they ate another piece of the same toffee while high-pitched tones played. The first bite tasted more savory to the participants, and the second bite tasted sweeter.

Sounds can cue other sensory responses. As eminent psychologist Ivan Pavlov proved a century ago, bodily responses can be triggered by certain cues, what he called the “conditioned reflex”. In his pivotal experiment, he proved that if you play a bell before a dog eats, the dog will associate the sound of a bell with food. In the future, if you play a bell and do not show the dog food, the dog will salivate as if food were present.

In the study with the toffee, it is unclear if the reaction is innate, or if we somehow learn to associate high-pitched sounds with sweet tastes. The study was conducted with the chefs from The Fat Duck, a famous high-end restaurant in London. What if a restaurant played lower pitched music during the main course and higher pitched music during dessert? Could that impact our dining experience?

What do we call words that mimic how they sound? Learn about a silent bag of chips that proved the rule here.

Do you think high-pitched tones make you think of sweeter flavors? Do smells, music, or other sensations affect how you understand what you read or hear? Let us know and share examples from your life, below.


EA to Purchase PopCap Games.

Entertainment Close-up July 15, 2011 Electronic Arts announced an agreement to acquire PopCap Games, a provider of games for mobile phones, tablets, PCs and social network sites.

With titles like Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled, and Zuma, and a ability to create new hits, the Company said PopCap is a leader in the market for casual digital games.

“EA and PopCap are a compelling combination,” said EA CEO John Riccitiello. “PopCap’s great studio talent and powerful IP add to EA’s momentum and accelerate our drive towards a $1 billion digital business. EA’s global studio and publishing network will help PopCap rapidly expand their business to more digital devices, more countries, and more channels.” “We picked EA because they have recast their culture around making great digital games,” said David Roberts, CEO of PopCap. “By working with EA, we’ll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience.” “PopCap has a proven financial trajectory with sustained revenue growth and double-digit operating margins,” said EA CFO Eric Brown. “On a non-GAAP basis, this deal is expected to be at least ten-cents accretive in fiscal year 2013.” According to a release, PopCap is digital and social gaming company with more than 150 million games installed and played worldwide on platforms such as Facebook, RenRen, Google, iPhone, iPad and Android. In calendar year 2010, approximately 80 percent of PopCap’s revenue was on high growth digital platforms. here google iphone app

EA will pay approximately $650 million in cash and $100 million in shares of EA common stock to be issued to certain stockholders of PopCap. In addition, the PopCap sellers are entitled to additional variable cash consideration, contingent upon the achievement of certain non-GAAP earnings before interest and tax (“EBIT”) performance milestones through December 2013, EA’s third fiscal quarter end.

At the upper end of the earn-out, the performance targets for EBIT are approximately $343 million in total PopCap standalone EBIT generated over the two-year period through December 2013. The exact earn-out calculation is subject to adjustments. EA will also provide up to $50 million in long-term equity retention awards to PopCap employees to be granted over the next four years.

Transaction and financial highlights, as described by the Company, include:

-The transaction is expected to close in August 2011, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

-On a non-GAAP basis, the acquisition is expected to be EPS neutral to EA’s fiscal year 2012 results, as a result of one-time transaction costs, and at least $0.10 accretive to EA’s FY 2013 non-GAAP EPS.

-For the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, EA is announcing preliminary results of approximately:

-$500 million to $525 million in non-GAAP revenue versus guidance of $460 million to $500 million of non-GAAP revenue.

-($0.40) to ($0.37) in non-GAAP diluted loss per share versus guidance of ($0.49) to ($0.44) in non-GAAP diluted loss per share.

-EA is reaffirming its full year fiscal year 2012 non-GAAP guidance of $0.70 to $0.90 diluted earnings per share. EA is also increasing its full year non-GAAP revenue guidance to a range of $3,800 million to $4,025 million to account for the inclusion of PopCap for a portion of FY12.

-EA is announcing preliminary guidance for the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 of non-GAAP diluted loss per share ranging from ($0.15) to ($0.05).

-EA has executed a commitment letter for a $550 million senior unsecured bridge facility with Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., UBS Securities, and UBS Loan Finance, that EA may choose to draw upon prior to closing the acquisition. EA expects to explore permanent financing options in connection with the funding of this acquisition. Morgan Stanley & Co. provided EA’s board of directors valuation advice in connection with the transaction. EA was also assisted by UBS Investment Bank. see here google iphone app

In addition, the Company noted that the $600 million share repurchase program that EA announced in February, remains in effect. As of July 1, EA has repurchased 7.1 million shares for a total of $149 million under this program. EA is not obligated to repurchase any specific number of shares under the program and the repurchase program may be modified, suspended or discontinued at any time.

Electronic Arts will host a conference call on July 26, at 2 pm PT (5 pm ET) to review its results for the first quarter ended June 30, and its outlook for the future. During the course of the call, Electronic Arts may disclose material developments affecting its business and/or financial performance. Listeners may access the conference call live through the following dial-in number: 773-799-3213 (domestic) or 888-677-1083 (international), using the password “EA” or via webcast at investor.ea.com.

Electronic Arts is a company focused on digital interactive entertainment.

PopCap is a global developer, publisher and operator of casual video games.

More information:

((Comments on this story may be sent to newsdesk@closeupmedia.com))


  1. Jed Keegan -  January 30, 2014 - 6:36 pm

    The definition of bacon is pure beauty, and nobody can say no to that

  2. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 10, 2013 - 5:42 am

    What in the world does the title have to do with the article? there’s nothing about the smell of bacon – or any other food – or the meaning of a word. Completely off-topic.

    @marytorres !so chula!:
    Uh…who r u talking 2??

    I love the smell of bacon, & the sizzle of bacon frying…all this talk about bacon is making me hungry! :) All u vegetarians are totally missing out!

  3. LOL -  July 23, 2012 - 1:49 am

    wow I just read the comment at the top at how he/she commented on the title of the article including the word bacon in which in fact it didn’t and after I read the article it occurs to me that they only put the word ‘bacon’ in the title to make us seem more interested and click on the article if some of you know what I mean.

  4. Grace -  June 23, 2012 - 10:50 am

    It’s an interesting idea. It would be really neat if resturants enclosed each table of people, so that low music could play when those were eating, and higher music when the table next to them, even at the same time was eating. It might improve the taste. It’s definitely something to consider. Or at least I would consider it if I was in that business.

  5. Hamachisn't -  June 19, 2012 - 2:12 pm

    Two or three decades ago I came up with almost a “spectrum” of tastes for different kind of meats. I use two different scales of words to describe them. In the following list, the meats area listed from “dark” to “light” or from “bass” (low frequency) to “treble” (high frequency):

    herring & mackerel
    sole & trout & bass

    Now, I’ve listed these for a few friends over the years. I always start out by explaining that there’s something really weird about this but I think of it this way, and after I give the list, my friends always seem to see some sense in that order. I’ve learned that it’s not just me feeling this; I just happened to notice it.

    This could probably be expanded to include fruits & vegetables, drinks, and other comestibles. For example, coffee is darker than tea, which is darker than orange juice.


  6. Mitchell Rilatos -  April 26, 2012 - 12:18 pm

    First comment

  7. sherryyu -  April 25, 2012 - 12:50 pm

    werid topic very werid topic

  8. yayRayShell -  April 22, 2012 - 4:07 pm

    I think like for example if you listen to rock music and eat chicken you would probably be in a partying mood and think it meaty. I think music influences your mood which influences how you taste things.

  9. Alex -  April 21, 2012 - 2:53 pm

    i don’t know about toffee and high pitched music but i cannot enjoy my dessert if there is a screeching sound..or for that matter i just cannot bear to eat if i smell anything that is ‘unedible’ around me or if the food has a soapy flavour.or if i smell detergent around…yuck i could throw up,just thinking about it!

  10. mary torres !so chula! -  April 21, 2012 - 8:40 am

    @yo everyone

  11. yo -  April 19, 2012 - 2:36 pm

    uh, mary torres !so chula!
    who are u talking to?

  12. Chi -  April 19, 2012 - 12:03 pm

    I didn’t even read the article i just saw “Bacon” and knew I should comment. XD

  13. mary torres !so chula! -  April 19, 2012 - 7:50 am

    thats nice to know i love you and always will lol :) :)

  14. Mary -  April 18, 2012 - 8:57 am

    Oh, oh, I think I got it. When you think about the smell of bacon, you can’t understand words, because the brain become like a bacon. (see the picture). That’s why this article make no sense to me.

  15. Mary -  April 18, 2012 - 8:53 am

    Something is missing from this article. Something that goes after bacon…or….I might be wrong.

  16. Nidnat -  April 17, 2012 - 8:42 am

    Oh this is a very vexed question to be asked for a naive person like me but i have my own share of repressed words within my puzzled mind…..
    …..everything we do in everyday lives are seemingly conditioned to the past experiences and incidents..am i right? say, you had drank a very crude hard liquor on last Sunday, and you had terrible time when you reached your bedroom, frequently visiting bathroom to take-off this hellish drinks. and coincidentally on next Sunday your close friend asked you to have some shots of the same horrible liquor you had last Sunday. will you drink it??? sure if you are an addict but not true for the beginners. right?
    so the experiences of the past days play crucial role in the functioning of your mind on the particular matters or events or situation. this is just the same but different interpretation of the much revered work of the eminent Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov. say while eating a very delicious meal or reading a very captivating and entertaining story or news, somebody in your room hit the rock and hard, ear-piercing music, will you like to continue with the eating or reading??? I don’t think so! it gives you the bad impressions or evoke you the resentments that may lasts for a day or an hour. again after many days you had heard this same frustrating music while engaging in some activities or just leisurely taking a rest, what will be your reactions? complacent or same as the earlier incidents, because it had really spoiled your day. is it right?
    so in a nutshell if a resound my words , the conditioning is the main tenet that influence your sensory perceptions.
    every is to do with the mind and its judgement- whether rationale or instrumental
    account. this is also proved firmly by the broad Asian Buddhism teaching of meditation and mindfulness. if you, reader(s), want to know more explore on this topic- meditation. well sorry i went too far!

  17. Michele -  April 16, 2012 - 11:13 am

    Totally agree with all of you about the topic being misleading – wth seriously…lol I liked Sheesh’s response most of all with the world is madness! lol

  18. elasha -  April 16, 2012 - 6:22 am

    It’s a new frontier for science.

  19. thefutureisdull -  April 16, 2012 - 5:23 am

    I’m sure there are as many clueless people as there are sarcastic…but just to clarify; They used bacon as a damn example since it is a very popular food.

  20. EMHoltJr -  April 16, 2012 - 3:38 am

    You all are missing the point. Re-read the first paragraph: “A new study is so fascinating that we immediately wondered how it would apply to words. You, of course, are our greatest resource for insight. After you read about the experiment, help us think about how word meanings change depending on what else is going on around you.”

    Here’s their query: if sound can affect the way something tastes, can senses like smell affect word meanings?

    I love dummies who point to another as the source of stupidity.

  21. Alekxi -  April 15, 2012 - 8:47 pm

    Actually bacon has one of the strongest smells.

    The fact that most of you did not comprehend why the word bacon was used and also how it was said that “the headline was misleading” is sad. I imagine how much lower your level of comprehension would be if you would not visit this website.

  22. Mundaneity -  April 15, 2012 - 3:16 am

    The title is COMPLETELY unrelated to the article!!!

  23. sylvie -  April 14, 2012 - 12:56 pm

    So does this mean that someone with tinnitus would taste everything sweeter? :)

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