Every day we consume different foods in food — sweet, bitter, salty. Of course, first and foremost for determining the answer tastes receptors on the follicles of the tongue, but in any case the information obtained is still being processed at the level of the brain. Despite the fact that research in this direction started long ago, on finding the exact parts of the brain responsible for taste, did not work so many scientists. Therefore, Japanese experts with our American colleagues have tried to shed light on this question.
Scientists conducted an experiment, which they managed to make so-called “gustatory cortex” human brain — in other words, they determined which areas of the brain are responsible for specific tastes (for details on the study can be found in Nature Communications). First 20 people tried liquid different flavours — from sour to sweet, and then the researchers conducted an fMRI experiment where participants re-tried the liquid, but in the scanner. So they managed to determine which parts of the brain aktiviziruyutsya for every taste.
In this picture you can see how the lid of the brain responds to bitter, sweet, sour and salty tastes.
It turned out that the taste area of the human brain is comprised of the Insula lobe, and the caps have certain similarities with animals, in which the “gustatory cortex” is located in a similar way. Unlike human region that the divisions of the Insula shares of our brain is able to determine the intensity of the flavors (they aktiviziruyutsya different). To find out, participants were given fluids with different content of bitter (magnesium chloride), sweet (glucose) elements.
According to scientists, such studies are important because they allow to explain the difference in the taste preferences of the person and to identify the behavioral threshold in determining the taste. Recognition of flavors is one of the important components as it allows to distinguish safe food from dangerous: for example, bitter food is often associated in humans with something harmful than sweet.
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