Our brain relies on not just one but all the senses to anticipate taste, a new study suggests.
The study, by researchers from the Stony Brook University in the US, may change the way neuroscientists think about the role of the gustatory cortex – the part of the brain responsible for the perception of taste.
"We found that the gustatory cortex receives information from all the senses, not just taste," said Alfredo Fontanini, from Stony Brook University in the US.
"Not all the non-gustatory stimuli are equally effective in activating the gustatory cortex, those that can easily be linked to taste tend to recruit more neurons. Olfaction is particularly effective," said Fontanini.
Gustatory cortex’s ability to represent stimuli of multiple modalities is greatly boosted by learning that they can predict taste, the researchers said.
The study appears in the journal eLife.