Charles Spence

Head - Crossmodal Research Laboratory

University of Oxford, UK

Prof. Charles Spence heads Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory. His interests lie in trying to apply the latest insights concerning the multisensory nature of human perception to the real world, in everything from the design of food and packaging, to car warning signals. He has worked with a number of the world’s top chefs, including Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck) and Ferran Adriá’s research kitchen. Currently he is collaborating with the next generation of modernist chefs, with molecular mixologists, chocolatiers, culinary artists, designers, and composers on multisensory experience design. Prof. Spence’s research lies at the interface of modernist cuisine and commercial food and beverage design. Over the years, he has worked with many of the world’s largest food and beverage companies/brands, including PepsiCo, Unilever, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Twinings, Molson Coors, Unilever, Mars, and Neal’s Yard Dairy. Prof. Spence is an expert in the field of multisensory perception and neuroscience-inspired design. He has published more than 700 articles as well as authoring and editing 19 books, including the prize-winning The perfect meal, together with Betina Piqueras-Fiszman in 2014. He directs the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University’s Department of Experimental Psychology, and has been awarded a number of national and international prizes for his research. Prof. Spence is a passionate advocate of the application of the latest insights from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to the design of better-tasting, more stimulating, more memorable, and healthier food and drink experiences – an approach that comes under the banner of astrophysics. His forthcoming book Gastrophysics deals, in part, with the translation of the latest neuroscience-inspired design for food from the modernist restaurant to the healthcare setting.