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Perception. 1979;8(4):441-76.

Salt taste adaptation: the psychophysical effects of adapting solutions and residual stimuli from prior tastings on the taste of sodium chloride.


The paper reviews how adaptation to sodium chloride, changing in concentration as a result of various experimental procedures, affects measurements of the sensitivity, intensity, and quality of the salt taste. The development of and evidence for the current model that the salt taste depends on an adaptation level (taste zero) determined by the sodium cation concentration is examined and found to be generally supported, despite great methodological complications. It would seem that lower adaptation levels elicit lower thresholds, higher intensity estimates, and altered quality descriptions with predictable effects on psychophysical measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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