Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 28 July |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Stanley Rother
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Why drinking wine engages more of your brain than math

POURING WINE

Shutterstock

Sophia Swinford - published on 07/24/18

You might want to take in more wine tastings, according to a neuroscientist.

If you thought listening to Mozart and doing calculus had won the day as the most neurologically stimulating activities, you’d better backtrack now because a new candidate has just come out of left field to beat them both.

According to Gordon Shepherd, neuroscientist at Yale University and author of Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine, drinking wine stimulates the brain more than any other activity.

Shepherd confirms there is a “tremendous range of sensory, motor and central brain systems involved in a wine tasting.” A complex combination of muscle coordination contributes to the physical movement itself, quickly followed by the stimulation of multiple areas of the brain firing among one another as your brain processes what it’s receiving.

“Unlike a maths problem – which requires a limited amount of brain activity – assessing wine engages multiple sensory systems, including seeing, smelling and tasting,” Decanter reports.

Shepherd goes on to argue that, similar to the mechanisms of our visual sense, our brains create the flavor of wine. He explained to NPR, “The analogy one can use is color. The objects we see don’t have color themselves: light hits them and bounces off. It’s when light strikes our eyes that it activates systems in the brain that create color for those different wavelengths. Similarly, the molecules in wine don’t have taste or flavor, but when they stimulate our brains, the brain creates flavor the same way it creates color.”

So watch out, classical music lovers and math whizzes — wine lovers out there are about to give you a run for your money. And the next time you’re enjoying a glass of wine, take a moment to appreciate what’s going on in your brain and marvel at its abilities!

Tags:
FoodScience
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
ORGAN
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
3
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
4
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
5
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
6
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
7
BABCIA Z WNUKAMI
Cerith Gardiner
5 Ways grandparents impact our lives for the better
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.