Archives of Histology and Cytology
Online ISSN : 1349-1717
Print ISSN : 0914-9465
ISSN-L : 0914-9465
Review articles
Neural substrates for the processing of cognitive and affective aspects of taste in the brain
Takashi Yamamoto
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2006 Volume 69 Issue 4 Pages 243-255


Taste is unique among the sensory systems in that, besides its recognition of quality, it is innately associated with hedonic aspects of reward and aversion. This review of the literature will show how taste information is conveyed through the central gustatory pathways to the cortical gustatory area and is processed in terms of qualitative and quantitative aspects. Taste information is also sent to the reward system and feeding center via several brain sites including the prefrontal cortex, insular cortex, and amygdala. The reward system contains the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, and ventral pallidum; it finally sends information to the lateral hypothalamic area, the feeding center. The dopamine system originating from the ventral tegmental area mediates the motivation to consume palatable food. The actual ingestive behavior is promoted by the orexigenic neuropeptides from the hypothalamus. In the last section, the neural substrate of learning and memory of taste is introduced and the biological mechanisms are elucidated.

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© 2006 by International Society of Histology and Cytology
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