Memory plays a central role in food choice. Recent studies focusing on food memory in everyday eating and drinking behaviour used a paradigm based on incidental learning of target foods and unexpected memory testing, demanding recognition of the target among distractors, which deviate slightly from the target. Results question the traditional view of memory as reactivation of previous experiences. Comparison of data from several experiments shows that in incidentally learned memory, distractors are rejected, while original targets are not recognised better than by chance guessing. Food memory is tuned at detecting novelty and change, rather than at recognising a previously encountered food.
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