NEURAL ORGANIZATION OF SENSORY INFORMATIONS FOR TASTE.
Rept. no. 3 (Final), 9 Apr 65-8 Apr 68,
KUMAMOTO UNIV (JAPAN) MEDICAL SCHOOL
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Impulse discharges in single chorda tympani fibers of rats and hamsters in response to various gustatory stimuli were analyzed statistically. Evidence for the presence of specific sensitivity of chorda tympani fibers to one or a combination of the four fundamental taste stimuli was obtained. The response to saccharin, KCl, CaCl2MgCl2 and tartaric acid was analyzed statistically in relation to those for NaCl, sucrose, HCl and quinine, and equations for the amount of responses to the former group of chemicals represented by those for the latter fundamental stimuli were obtained. Impulse discharges produced by sweet substances in chorda tympani fibers dominantly sensitive to sucrose were found to show bursts of spikes having a regular interval of 250-750 msec. Consequently, temporal patterns of impulses may be utilized for the discrimination of quality of sweet taste, because no such regular periodicity was observed in impulse discharges elicited by any other chemicals in chorda tympani fibers relatively sensitive to stimuli other than sucrose. It is concluded that the discrimination of qualities of taste was based mainly on the pattern of the neural responses across many neurons, but that in that pattern the four fundamental tastes constitute nodal points. Author
- Anatomy and Physiology