A new gustometer for psychophysical taste testing in the rat

Physiol Behav. 1990 Apr;47(4):795-803. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(90)90099-p.


This paper provides a detailed description of a gustometer designed and constructed in our laboratory for psychophysical taste testing in rats. The gustometer features: a) 12 stimulus channels, b) the ability to deliver a specified volume of a taste stimulus per lick (e.g., 5 microliters), c) the accurate measurement of immediate licking responses, d) an automatic drinking spout cleaning mechanism for use between taste trials, and e) complete computer control and analysis. Complete plans and electronic schematics are included. In addition, results from contamination tests are presented verifying the reliability of the stimulus delivery system. The usefulness and versatility of this apparatus in a variety of behavioral tasks is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arousal*
  • Drinking*
  • Microcomputers*
  • Psychophysics
  • Psychophysiology / instrumentation*
  • Rats
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Taste Threshold
  • Taste*