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Neuron. 2005 Nov 3;48(3):455-64.

Taste recognition: food for thought.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, 291 Life Sciences Addition, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


The ability to identify food that is nutrient-rich and avoid toxic substances is essential for an animal's survival. Although olfaction and vision contribute to food detection, the gustatory system acts as a final checkpoint control for food acceptance or rejection behavior. Recent studies with model organisms such as mice and Drosophila have identified candidate taste receptors and examined the logic of taste coding in the periphery. Despite differences in terms of gustatory anatomy and taste-receptor families, these gustatory systems share a basic organization that is different from other sensory systems. This review will summarize our current understanding of taste recognition in mammals and Drosophila, highlighting similarities and raising several as yet unanswered questions.

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