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Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 1516-4446
ARAUJO, Ivan E de. Taste representation in the human cortex and the central control of appetite. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2003, vol.25, suppl.2, pp. 25-28. ISSN 1516-4446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462003000600006.
The control of food intake and the mechanisms of energy homeostasis are now known to depend on a series of peripheral signals that act directly on the central nervous system leading to appropriate adaptive responses. However, in humans, the increasing occurrence of associated pathologies due to abnormal food-intake preferences such as obesity and anorexia implies that food intake control depend also on cortical processing. Recent functional neuroimaging studies on human volunteers reveal that the central processing of gustatory information in humans is performed in similar areas to those of other primates, with primary gustatory cortical areas in the frontal operculum/anterior insula complex responding efficiently to stimulus decoding by isolating peripheral signals on internal physiological states whereas regions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex seem to integrate information on the sensory aspects of taste stimuli with the abovementioned peripheral signals on the current homeostatic state of the organism.
Keywords : Appetite; Cingulate cortex; Insula; Orbitofrontal cortex; Primates; Reward value; Taste; Thirst.