Danni Peng Li

PhD Student

Danni Peng Li


PhD project: SOUNDS HEALTHY – The influence of sound on multisensory and cognitive drivers of healthy food choice in cross-cultural contexts: a combined neurological, physiological, and psychological approach.

University: Aarhus University

Department: Department of Food Science, Food Quality Perception & Society

Supervisor: Derek V. Byrne, Professor, Science Team Leader

Project supervisor: Qian Janice Wang, Assistant Professor

Project term: 01.01.2019 – 31.12.2021

Master’s degree:

MSc in Neuroscience and Neuroimaging – Aarhus University

MSc in Neurobiology/Biophysics – University of Chinese Academy of Sciences



A growing body of evidence shows that people’s eating and purchase behavior, what they taste, and how much they enjoy the experience, are influenced by multisensory factors. While the influence of our senses of sight and smell on food perception, is well-studied, sound is still underrepresented in this research area. However, auditory stimuli such as the background music/soundscape is a relatively inexpensive and convenient way to promote healthier food choices among consumers by affecting their subconscious, bottom-up processes (e.g. visual attention) as well as more conscious, top-down decision-making processes. These sensory nudges may have a particular impact in Western consumers, but it may be different in other cultures such as in China.



The aim of this PhD project is to study how sound can influence consumer’s decision-making processes and behaviors around eating healthy across cultures. The project will also shed light on how cognitive drivers, including knowledge, beliefs, and expectations, affect food choice and hedonic experiences in the consumers as determined by “wanting” and “liking”. By exploring these factors, we can help the food industry design, optimize, and promote healthier products that are at the time more attractive to consumers in different market segments.



The project will include laboratory studies, involving biometric measurements (eye-tracking) and neuroimaging (fMRI), as well as ecologically-valid consumer studies. The research will be conducted in both Denmark and China with Danish and Chinese consumers respectively.



  • Sino-Danish Center of Education and Research
  • University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

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