Salivation is the production of saliva by the salivary glands, which helps to moisten food before it enters the mouth, starts the digestion process, and helps us swallow our food. Various factors can influence salivation, including stress, sight or smell of food, relaxation after a meal, and ingestion of spicy food. To answer the question of which of these factors inhibits salivation, we will look at the findings from a few scientific studies.
Experiment 1: Stress and Salivation
In an experiment conducted by researchers at the Institute of Psychology, University of São Paulo, Brazil, it was found that exposure to a stressful situation reduced salivation in the participants. The study involved exposing individuals to environmental stressors such as loud noise, bright lights, and strong odors, and measuring their salivary response. The results showed that the participants’ salivation was significantly reduced under the stressful conditions, indicating that stress can inhibit salivation.
Experiment 2: Taste and Salivation
In another study conducted by researchers at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, it was found that taste can inhibit salivation. The researchers tested the hypothesis that tasting irrelevant food during repeated exposure to chocolate cues would inhibit salivation and craving. In the experiment, participants were exposed to a series of chocolate cues (e.g., pictures of chocolate) and were asked to either taste an unrelated food, such as a cracker or a sweet, or to not taste any food before each cue. The results showed that tasting the irrelevant food significantly inhibited salivation and craving compared to not tasting any food.
Based on the findings from the two experiments discussed above, it can be concluded that stress and taste can both inhibit salivation. While it is unclear which of the two factors is more effective in reducing salivation, it is clear that both factors can have an inhibitory effect on salivation.