Lawrence Marks, PhD

Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist in Epidemiology (Environmental Health Sciences)

Research Departments & Organizations

School of Public Health

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms; Cognition; Olfactory Perception; Psycholinguistics; Psychophysics; Sensory Thresholds; Taste Perception

Research Summary

Professor Marks develops quantitative, psychophysical models to account for sensory and perceptual responses to environmental stimuli. His current research is directed in particular at elucidating the mechanisms by which perceptual systems combine information from multiple sensory modalities and by which cognitive processes then modify and modulate perceptual information. Of special interest are the mechanisms of multisensory integration and interaction involved in the perception of flavors. The flavors of foods and beverages come partly from molecules that stimulate gustatory (taste) receptors on the tongue, but importantly – often most importantly – from molecules that stimulate olfactory receptors in the nose. Cognitive processes are also important, as flavor perception depends not only on sensory signals, but also, for example, on verbal labels, which modulate expectations, and on processes underlying perceptual decision-making, The perception of flavor is a critical factor controlling the intake of food. And the intake of food, in turn, is critical to the energy balance of the body, a topic central to the current mission of the John B. Pierce Laboratory.

Extensive Research Description

  • Mechanisms of Multisensory Flavor Identification
  • Interactions of Cognitive and Sensory Processes in Flavor Perception

Selected Publications

  • Identification of gustatory-olfactory flavor mixtures: effects of linguistic labeling.

    Brewer JM, Shavit AY, Shepard TG, Veldhuizen MG, Parikh R, Marks LE. Identification of gustatory-olfactory flavor mixtures: effects of linguistic labeling. Chemical Senses 2013, 38:305-13. 2013

  • Synesthesia, at and near its borders.

    Marks LE, Mulvenna CM. Synesthesia, at and near its borders. Frontiers In Psychology 2013, 4:651. 2013

  • Weak synesthesia in the general population

    Marks, L.E. (2013). In J. Simner and E. Hubbard (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 761-789. 2013

  • Response Times to Gustatory-Olfactory Flavor Mixtures: Role of Congruence.

    Shepard TG, Veldhuizen MG, Marks LE. Response Times to Gustatory-Olfactory Flavor Mixtures: Role of Congruence. Chemical Senses 2015, 40:565-75. 2015

  • Contextual effects in judgments of taste intensity: No assimilation, sometimes contrast.

    Shepard, T.G, Shavit, A.Y., Veldhuizen, M.G., & Marks, L.E. (2017) Perception, 46, 268-282 2017

  • Synesthesia: Then and now

    Marks, L.E. (2017). Synesthesia: Then and now. In O. Deroy (Ed.), Sensory Blending: On Synaesthesia and Related Phenomena. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 13-44. 2017

  • Synesthesia: A teeming multiplicity

    Marks, L.E. (2014). Synesthesia: A teeming multiplicity. In E. Cardeña, S.J. Lynn, & S.C. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence, Revised Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 79-108. 2014

  • The semantic basis of taste-shape associations

    Velasco, C., Woods, A.T., Marks, L.E., Cheok, A.D, & Spence, C. (2016). The semantic basis of taste-shape associations. PeerJ, 4:e1644 (online). 2016

  • Flavor identification and intensity: Effects of stimulus context

    Hallowell, E.S., Parikh, R., Veldhuizen, M.G., & Marks, L.E. (2016). Flavor identification and intensity: Effects of stimulus context. Chemical Senses, 41, 249-259. 2016

  • Lower pitch is larger, yet falling pitches shrink: Interaction of pitch change and size change in speeded discrimination

    Eitan, Z., Schupak, A., Gotler, A., & Marks, L.E. (2014). Lower pitch is larger, yet falling pitches shrink: Interaction of pitch change and size change in speeded discrimination. Experimental Psychology, 61, 273-284 2014

See list of PubMed publications

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Contact Info

Lawrence Marks, PhD
Lab Location
Pierce Laboratories
290 Congress Avenue

New Haven, CT 06519
Office Location
Pierce Laboratories
290 Congress Avenue

New Haven, CT 06519
Mailing Address
Environmental Health Sciences290 Congress Avenue
New Haven, CT 06519

Curriculum Vitae

Sensory Information Processing