Here are the claims: Oranges taste better in the shower. Eating oranges in the shower will make you happy. The shower orange experience could turn your entire life around.

Thousands of Reddit users have been finding out for themselves. And they have chronicled their adventures on the subreddit /r/ShowerOrange/.

To sort fact from fiction, White House Correspondent Scott Horsley, Science Editor Geoff Brumfiel and All-Around-Genius Sam Sanders stepped into shower stalls at NPR’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. (We wanted a diversity of expertise and opinions on the matter.) Then, they ate some oranges. Here’s what they learned.

Do Showers Make Oranges Taste Better? NPR Investigates

Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR

What do listening to music, hitting a baseball and solving a complex math problem have in common? They all activate less gray matter than drinking wine.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, the flavor of wine “engages more of our brain than any other human behavior.” The apparently simple act of sipping Merlot involves a complex interplay of air and liquid controlled by coordinated movements of the the tongue, jaw, diaphragm and throat. Inside the mouth, molecules in wine stimulate thousands of taste and odor receptors, sending a flavor signal to the brain that triggers massive cognitive computation involving pattern recognition, memory, value judgment, emotion and of course, pleasure.

Whereas most wine writers tend to focus on the various elements that go into the wine itself — the grape, the oak, terroir, the winemaker — Shepherd’s subject is the drinker. He explores biomechanics, physiology and neuroscience to describe a journey that begins as wine passes the lips and ends with a lingering “finish” that can last for minutes.

The Taste Of Wine Isn’t All In Your Head, But Your Brain Sure Helps

Illustration: Alex Reynolds/NPR