The responsiveness of neurones in the frontal opercular gustatory cortex of the macaque monkey is independent of hunger

J Physiol. 1988 Mar;397:1-12. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1988.sp016984.


1. In order to determine whether the responsiveness of neurones in the primary gustatory cortex is influenced by hunger, the activity of neurones in the gustatory cortex in the frontal operculum was recorded while macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were fed to satiety. The responses of single neurones in the gustatory cortex to the prototypical taste stimuli glucose, NaCl, HCl and quinine hydrochloride, and to fruit juice, were measured before, while, and after the monkey was fed to satiety with glucose or fruit juice. 2. While behaviour turned from avid acceptance to active rejection upon repletion, the responsiveness of the neurones to the stimulus array, including the satiating solution, was unmodified. 3. It is concluded that in the gustatory cortex in the frontal operculum, neuronal responses to gustatory stimuli are not influenced by the normal transition from hunger to satiety. This is in contrast to the responses of a population of neurones recorded in the hypothalamus, which only occur to the taste of food when the monkey is hungry. Thus the neurones in the primary gustatory cortex are involved in a motivation-independent analysis of gustatory stimuli, whereas the hypothalamic neurones may be more closely related to the influence of motivational state on behavioural responsiveness to gustatory stimuli.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Eating
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Hunger / physiology*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Satiation / physiology
  • Taste / physiology*