A Sense of Taste

by Prof. Sidney A. Simon

To obtain energy necessary for life animals have to eat.  However, the act of eating itself requires that one has to make a decision whether to accept or reject food. This decision is dependent on many factors such as the foods’ familiarity (learning), taste, palatability and also if the animal is hungry, sated or needs a particular food (i.e., context).  The topics will be covered topics using behavioral studies together with cortical multielectrode recordings in rodents that make rapid decisions about the quality, quantity and palatability of foods. Changes that occur when an animal needs salt (salt appetite) and will ingest it at concentrations that, when salt replete, would find it unpalatable will be presented. Finally, how changes in brain activity can predict when an animal is sated will be presented.