Every day we eat different foods -sweet, bitter, salty. Of course, first of all, receptors on tongues are responsible for determining tastes, but in any case, the information obtained is still processed at the level of the brain. Despite the fact that research in this direction has been going on for a long time, not many scientists have worked on determining the exact areas of the brain responsible for taste. Therefore, Japanese experts with American colleagues tried to shed light on this issue.
Scientists conducted an experiment with the help of whichthey managed to create the so-called “taste bark” of the human brain - in other words, they determined which parts of the brain are responsible for specific tastes (details of the research can be found in Nature Communications). At first, 20 people tried liquids with different tastes - from sour to sweet, and then the scientists conducted an fMRI experiment, where participants tried the liquids again, but in the scanner. So they were able to determine which parts of the brain are activated for each taste.
In this picture you can see how the cap of the brain reacts to bitter, sweet, sour and salty tastes.
It turned out that the gustatory region of the brainman consists of both an island lobe and a cap - there is a certain similarity with animals, which have a “taste bark” in a similar way. The difference in the human area is that the departments of the insular lobe of our brain are able to determine the intensity of tastes (for this they are activated in different ways). To find out, participants were given fluids with different contents of bitter (with magnesium chloride) and sweet (with glucose) elements.
How to activate the island share for different tastes
According to scientists, such studies are important,because they allow explaining the difference in taste preferences of a person and revealing a behavioral threshold in determining taste. Recognition of tastes is one of the important components, since it is this that makes it possible to distinguish dangerous food from safe food: for example, a bitter food is more often associated in a person with something harmful than sweet.
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