Analysis of the activity of single neurones in the gustatory pathways in primates (cynomolgus monkeys) shows that the tuning of neurones to the four prototypical stimuli 1.0 mol l-1 glucose, 1.0 mol l-1 NaCl, 0.001 mol l-1 quinine-HCl and 0.01 mol l-1 HCl becomes sharper as information progresses through the taste system from the first central relay in the brainstem, the nucleus of the solitary tract, via the thalamus to the primary taste cortex in the frontal operculum and insula to reach a secondary cortical taste area in the caudolateral orbitofrontal cortex. 2. Feeding monkeys to satiety with glucose has no effect on the gustatory responses of neurones in the nucleus of the solitary tract, the frontal opercular taste cortex or the insular taste cortex, but decreases the magnitude of the neuronal responses of orbitofrontal cortex taste neurones which respond to glucose to zero. 3. The responses of orbitofrontal cortex taste neurones decrease to foods on which the monkey is fed to satiety, but continue to foods which have not just been eaten, that is, they reflect sensory-specific satiety, the phenomenon in which the pleasantness of the taste of a food and its acceptability, but not those of of other foods, is decreased by eating that food to satiety. 4. It has been found that the orbitofrontal cortex taste area or areas receives inputs from different modalities: single neurones with unimodal responses to taste (47%), olfactory (12%) and visual (10%) stimuli are found in close proximity to each other. Moreover, some single neurones show multimodal convergence, responding, for example, to taste and visual inputs (17%), taste and olfactory inputs (10%), and olfactory and visual inputs (4%). Some of these multimodal single neurones have corresponding sensitivities in the two modalities: they respond best to sweet tastes (e.g. 1 mol l-1 glucose), and respond more in a visual discrimination task to the visual stimulus which signifies sweet fruit juice than to that which signifies saline; or they respond to sweet taste and, in an olfactory discrimination task, to fruit juice odour. These results suggest that multimodal representations are formed in the orbitofrontal cortex secondary and related taste areas.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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JOURNAL ARTICLE| 01 September 1989
Information processing in the taste system of primates
E. T. Rolls
University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology, England.
Online Issn: 1477-9145
Print Issn: 0022-0949
© 1989 by Company of Biologists
J Exp Biol (1989) 146 (1): 141–164.
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E. T. Rolls; Information processing in the taste system of primates. J Exp Biol 1 September 1989; 146 (1): 141–164. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.146.1.141
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