Chemosensory Perception

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 174–181 | Cite as

Micturition Drive is Associated with Decreased Brain Response to Palatable Milkshake in the Human Anterior Insular Cortex

  • Xiao Gao
  • Xue Sun
  • Maria G. Veldhuizen
  • Yuko Nakamura
  • Nils B. Kroemer
  • Dana Small



Most functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of taste deliver small quantities of liquids over roughly 45 min to repeatedly sample brain response to tastants. Within this time participants frequently report that their need to urinate increases.


Since both gustatory and interoceptive information are represented in the anterior insular cortex, we evaluated whether perceived need to urinate influenced insular responses to the receipt of a small bolus of milkshake in two datasets (n = 45).


Change in pre- to post-scan ratings of desire to urinate was inversely related to anterior insular response to milkshake.


This finding demonstrates that micturition drive influences insular response to milkshake and supports previous reports of overlapping gustatory and visceral representation within human anterior insular cortex.


Interoception Taste Multisensory fMRI 



This work was funded by funding from the National Institutes of Health grant R01 DK085579.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health grant to Dana Small (#R01 DK085579).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Informed consent to participate in our study was approved by Yale University School of Medicine Human Investigation Committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.The John B. Pierce LaboratoryNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Yale Interdepartmental Neuroscience ProgramYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging CenterTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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