Nutrient tasting and signaling mechanisms in the gut. IV. There is more to taste than meets the tongue.
The tongue is the principal organ that provides sensory information about the quality and quantity of chemicals in food. Other information about the temperature and texture of food is also transduced on the tongue, via extragemmal receptors that form branches of the trigeminal, glossopharyngeal, and vagal nerves. These systems, together with information from the gastrointestinal (GI) system, interact to determine whether or not food is palatable. In this themes article, emphasis is placed on the integrative aspects of gustatory processing by showing the convergence of gustatory information with somatosensory, nociceptive, and visceral information (from the GI system) on the tongue and in the brain. Our thesis is that gustation should be thought of as an integral part of a distributed, interacting multimodal system in which information from other systems, including the GI system, can modulate the taste of food.
Katz, DB; Nicolelis, MA; Simon, SA
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