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Danni Peng-Li

PhD student, PhD Student

Danni Peng-Li


PhD project: SOUNDS HEALTHY – Auditory influences on the psychophysiological mechanisms of food-related decision making 

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 – University of Chinese Academy of Sciences




Human decision-making is not solely driven by rationality. Indeed, it is also driven by subconscious processes, emotions and interoceptive states which all can be influenced by multisensory cues in the environment. While the influence of our senses of sight, smell, and taste on food perception and valuation, is well-studied, sound is still underrepresented in this research area. However, auditory stimuli such as ambient sound is a relatively inexpensive and convenient way to promote healthier food choices among consumers. For example, sound may guide consumers’ visual attention towards desired options (e.g. healthy food products) and thereby increasing the probability of them buying it. Likewise, sound and music can activate the brain’s reward centers of consumers potentially causing augmented incentive salience towards and hedonic experience of healthy food. Such 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 explore how ambient sounds can influence psychological, physiological, and neurological drivers of healthy food choices across different cultures. By studying these implicit measures, we can help the marketers in 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, skin conductance, and heart rate) neuroimaging (EEG/fMRI), as well as ecologically-valid consumer studies in real-life contexts. 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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