The neural mechanisms of gustation: A distributed processing code

Sidney A. Simon, Ivan E. De Araujo, Ranier Gutierrez, Miguel A.L. Nicolelis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations

Abstract

Whenever food is placed in the mouth, taste receptors are stimulated. Simultaneously, different types of sensory fibre that monitor several food attributes such as texture, temperature and odour are activated. Here, we evaluate taste and oral somatosensory peripheral transduction mechanisms as well as the multi-sensory integrative functions of the central pathways that support the complex sensations that we usually associate with gustation. On the basis of recent experimental data, we argue that these brain circuits make use of distributed ensemble codes that represent the sensory and post-ingestive properties of tastants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-901
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

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