gustatory cortex
Acronym:
The term gustatory cortex refers to the areas of cerebral cortex involved functionally in taste perception. The locations to which it is attributed varies by species, by method of detection, and by author.
     In primates it involves the frontoparietal operculum and the anterior insula. fMRI studies in the human suggest that the primary areas are in the ventroanterior part of the right anterior insula with smaller areas located bilaterally in dorsal parts of anterior insula and the long insular gyri. Areas in which gustation is associated with other functions include all of the ventral part, and a small area near the dorsal boundary of, the anterior insula ( Fig. 3 in Kurth-2010b ).
     All studies of the macaque agree to a location on the inner and horizontal surfaces of the frontoparietal operculum, the portions of the postcentral gyrus and the precentral gyrus that overlie the dorsal part of the insula, which are identified as area OFO of Roberts ( Mesulam-1984 ) or area Gu of Paxinos (macaque) ( Paxinos-2009a ). That area receives a direct projection from the gustatory relay nucleus in the thalamus, i.e., the parvicellular part of the ventral posteromedial nucleus (VPMpc). Reports differ with regard to the internal structure of the frontal operculum area; some label it granular ( Mesulam-1984 ), others dysgranular ( Pritchard-2012 ). Additional projections have been traced to adjacent dorsal parts of granular insula and dysgranular insular cortex (Roberts). Some have interpreted these to represent secondary gustatory areas ( Sewards-2001 ).
     In the rat ( Swanson-2004 ) and mouse ( Hof-2000 ), the gustatory cortex is identified with the dysgranular insula.

Also known as: gustatory area, gustatory areas, primary taste cortexNeuroNames ID : 1358


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