In western languages, it is notoriously hard to put olfactory experiences into words. Think for example about the smell of your favourite perfume or beverage, and now try to put this into words. In contrast, various groups of experts (e.g. oenologists, perfumers or coffee tasters), are able to name and identify odours. The question then is how experts are able to do this, i.e. what makes them different from novices regarding olfactory language. I plan to investigate this psycholinguistic question by means of exciting behavioural and experimental paradigms. In addition, the project interests me above all because it takes a multidisciplinary approach to this question, investigating the borders between expert-novice differences, linguistics, flavour technology, perception, and psychology.
Ilja Croijmans is currently a PhD student at the Radboud University. He will be speaking at the third Odorama edition.
- Ilja Croijmans