A gustatory stimulator

J Neurosci Methods. 2015 Nov 30;255:12-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2015.07.019. Epub 2015 Jul 29.


Background: In order to elicit gustatory event related potentials (gERPs) a special taste delivery system is needed which allows precise control of stimulus onset and duration.

New method: Aim of this investigation was to describe the characteristics, namely onset rise-time step and onset delay time of a recently new taste delivery system based on stepper-motor, computer-driven glass syringes, able to spray pulses of liquid solutions into the mouth.

Results: The measurement showed that the pulse rise time is less than 100 ms and increases with the pulse duration; the delay of the stimulus on a 12 m hose is between 55 ms and 71 ms.

Comparison with existing methods: The gustometer in examination produce a stream of pulses, constituted by a certain number of taste stimuli interleaved among a number of tasteless pulses, moreover the solution is thermos-regulated at internal body temperature. This make the technique appealing for event related procedure in neuroscience investigation related to gustatory tasks.

Conclusion: These results of the time rise measurements confirm the suitability of this gustometer to elicit ERPs.

Keywords: ERPs; Pulse rise-time; Pulse taste delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology
  • Electroencephalography / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Evoked Potentials*
  • Humans
  • Mouth
  • Physical Stimulation / instrumentation*
  • Physical Stimulation / methods
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Taste Perception / physiology*
  • Time Factors