Neuronal cell types and taste quality coding

David V. Smith, Steven J. St. John, John Boughter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the past 25 years, there have been two opposing views of how taste information is represented in the activity of gustatory neurons. One view, the across-fiber pattern (AFP) theory, postulates that taste quality is represented by the pattern of activity across the afferent population. Stimuli with similar tastes produce similar patterns of activity. The other view is that activity in a few distinct neuron types codes taste quality in a ’labeled-line’ fashion. Neurons responding best to sucrose, for example, would represent ’sweetness,’ and those responding best to NaCl would code ’saltiness.’ Some of these neuron types appear to have a biological significance, such as the NaCl-best cells, which receive input about sodium stimuli exclusively from an amiloride-sensitive epithelial ion channel. However, the relatively broad tuning of these neurons makes it unlikely that they are capable of unambiguously coding information about taste quality. Rather, these neuron types play a critical role in establishing unique AFPs that distinguish among taste stimuli. The relative activity across these cell types represent taste quality, much like the patterns of activity across broadly tuned photoreceptors code information about stimulus wavelength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume69
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000

Fingerprint

Neurons
Amiloride
Ion Channels
Sucrose
Sodium
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Neuronal cell types and taste quality coding. / Smith, David V.; St. John, Steven J.; Boughter, John.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 69, No. 1, 01.04.2000, p. 77-85.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, David V. ; St. John, Steven J. ; Boughter, John. / Neuronal cell types and taste quality coding. In: Physiology and Behavior. 2000 ; Vol. 69, No. 1. pp. 77-85.
@article{21614e175ca449f6941cb5279052ed57,
title = "Neuronal cell types and taste quality coding",
abstract = "Over the past 25 years, there have been two opposing views of how taste information is represented in the activity of gustatory neurons. One view, the across-fiber pattern (AFP) theory, postulates that taste quality is represented by the pattern of activity across the afferent population. Stimuli with similar tastes produce similar patterns of activity. The other view is that activity in a few distinct neuron types codes taste quality in a ’labeled-line’ fashion. Neurons responding best to sucrose, for example, would represent ’sweetness,’ and those responding best to NaCl would code ’saltiness.’ Some of these neuron types appear to have a biological significance, such as the NaCl-best cells, which receive input about sodium stimuli exclusively from an amiloride-sensitive epithelial ion channel. However, the relatively broad tuning of these neurons makes it unlikely that they are capable of unambiguously coding information about taste quality. Rather, these neuron types play a critical role in establishing unique AFPs that distinguish among taste stimuli. The relative activity across these cell types represent taste quality, much like the patterns of activity across broadly tuned photoreceptors code information about stimulus wavelength.",
author = "Smith, {David V.} and {St. John}, {Steven J.} and John Boughter",
year = "2000",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/S0031-9384(00)00190-6",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "69",
pages = "77--85",
journal = "Physiology and Behavior",
issn = "0031-9384",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Neuronal cell types and taste quality coding

AU - Smith, David V.

AU - St. John, Steven J.

AU - Boughter, John

PY - 2000/4/1

Y1 - 2000/4/1

N2 - Over the past 25 years, there have been two opposing views of how taste information is represented in the activity of gustatory neurons. One view, the across-fiber pattern (AFP) theory, postulates that taste quality is represented by the pattern of activity across the afferent population. Stimuli with similar tastes produce similar patterns of activity. The other view is that activity in a few distinct neuron types codes taste quality in a ’labeled-line’ fashion. Neurons responding best to sucrose, for example, would represent ’sweetness,’ and those responding best to NaCl would code ’saltiness.’ Some of these neuron types appear to have a biological significance, such as the NaCl-best cells, which receive input about sodium stimuli exclusively from an amiloride-sensitive epithelial ion channel. However, the relatively broad tuning of these neurons makes it unlikely that they are capable of unambiguously coding information about taste quality. Rather, these neuron types play a critical role in establishing unique AFPs that distinguish among taste stimuli. The relative activity across these cell types represent taste quality, much like the patterns of activity across broadly tuned photoreceptors code information about stimulus wavelength.

AB - Over the past 25 years, there have been two opposing views of how taste information is represented in the activity of gustatory neurons. One view, the across-fiber pattern (AFP) theory, postulates that taste quality is represented by the pattern of activity across the afferent population. Stimuli with similar tastes produce similar patterns of activity. The other view is that activity in a few distinct neuron types codes taste quality in a ’labeled-line’ fashion. Neurons responding best to sucrose, for example, would represent ’sweetness,’ and those responding best to NaCl would code ’saltiness.’ Some of these neuron types appear to have a biological significance, such as the NaCl-best cells, which receive input about sodium stimuli exclusively from an amiloride-sensitive epithelial ion channel. However, the relatively broad tuning of these neurons makes it unlikely that they are capable of unambiguously coding information about taste quality. Rather, these neuron types play a critical role in establishing unique AFPs that distinguish among taste stimuli. The relative activity across these cell types represent taste quality, much like the patterns of activity across broadly tuned photoreceptors code information about stimulus wavelength.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034176392&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034176392&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/S0031-9384(00)00190-6

DO - 10.1016/S0031-9384(00)00190-6

M3 - Article

C2 - 10854919

AN - SCOPUS:0034176392

VL - 69

SP - 77

EP - 85

JO - Physiology and Behavior

JF - Physiology and Behavior

SN - 0031-9384

IS - 1

ER -