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Information Processing in the Gustatory System

  • Alexandra E. DʼAgostino
  • Patricia M. Di Lorenzo

Abstract

Gustation is a sensory modality that is essential for survival. Information provided by the gustatory system enables identification and rejection of poisons and encourages ingestion of nutritious foods. In addition, fine taste discrimination, guided by postingestional feedback, is critical for the maintenance of energy homeostasis. The study of how gustatory information is processed by both the peripheral and the central nervous systems has been an active and fruitful area of investigation and has yielded some dramatic results in recent years. In this chapter, we will first discuss the general concept of neural coding of sensory information to provide a backdrop for the discussion of gustatory neural coding in particular. Next, the anatomy and organization of each level of the gustatory system from the tongue to the cortex will be presented in the context of various theories of sensory coding as they have been applied to gustation. Finally, we will reviewthe unifying ideas that characterize information processing in the taste system.

Keywords

Taste Cell Spike Timing Spike Count Taste Quality Taste Stimulus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

AFP

across-fiber pattern

BLI

broad long-inhibition

BNST

bed nucleus of the stria terminalis

BSI

broad short-inhibition

CNS

central nervous system

CT

chorda tympani

CeA

central nucleus of the amygdala

GC

Granger causality

GPCR

G protein coupled receptor

GSP

greater superficial petrosal

LH

lateral hypothalamus

LL

labeled line

LT

lingual-tonsillar branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve

MSG

monosodium glutamate

NTS

nucleus of the solitary tract

PKD1L3

polycystic kidney disease 1-like 3

PKD2L1

polycystic kidney disease 2-like 1

PbN

parabrachial nucleus of the pons

SEM

scanning electron microscopy

SI

substantia innominata

SLN

superior laryngeal branch of the vagus nerve

SSI

selective short-inhibition

T1R1

taste receptor type 1 member 1

T1R2

taste receptor type 1 member 2

T1R3

taste receptor type 1 member 3

TRC

taste receptor cell

VPMpc

parvocellular subdivision of the ventral posteromedial nucleus of the thalamus

rNTS

rostral nucleus of the solitary tract

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA

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