HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Great (taste) expectations: Study shows brain anticipates taste, shifts gears

As the prism of our senses, the human brain has ways of refracting sensory input in defiance of reality.

This is seen, for example, in the placebo effect, when simple sugar pills or inert salves taken by unwitting subjects are seen to ease pain or have some other beneficial physiological effect. How the brain processes this faked input and prompts the body to respond is largely a mystery of neuroscience.

Now, however, scientists have begun to peel back some of the neurological secrets of this remarkable phenomenon and show how the brain can be rewired in anticipation of sensory input to respond in prescribed ways. Writing in the current issue (March 1, 2006) of the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists reports the results of experiments that portray the brain in action as it is duped.

The new work, conducted by a team led by UW-Madison assistant professor of psychology and psychiatry Jack B. Nitschke, tested the ability of the human brain to mitigate foul taste through a ruse of anticipation. The work, conducted at the UW-Madison Waisman Center using state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques and distasteful concoctions of quinine on a cohort of college students, reveals in detail how the brain responds to a manipulation intended to mitigate an unpleasant experience.

"There is a potent impact to expectancy," says Nitschke, who, with his colleagues, exposed 43 undergraduate subjects to potions of quinine, sugar water or distilled water while undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The subjects, Nitschke explains, were asked beforehand to associate a prescribed set of cues with a taste. A "minus sign" flashed through fiber optic goggles to subjects undergoing MRI, for instance, was to be an anticipatory signal that a liquid subsequently dripped into the mouth would have a very bitter taste. A "zero "cue corresponded with a neutral taste, and a "plus sign" with a pleasant
'"/>

Contact: Jack B. Nitschke
jnitschke@wisc.edu
608-263-6083
University of Wisconsin-Madison
21-Feb-2006


Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Greater cooperation needed for advancement of stem cell research
2. Greater use of evidence-based medicine needed in US outpatient care
3. Greater risk of death for cardiac surgery patients with long ICU stay
4. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
7. Study reveals gaps in vaccine financing for underinsured children
8. Study suggests nonpharmaceutical interventions may be helpful in severe influenza outbreaks
9. Study shows radiofrequency ablation highly effective in treating kidney tumors
10. Study says normal but out-of-control enzyme may be culprit that signals some cells to become cancer
11. Study finds HIV protease inhibitor drugs may adversely affect the scaffolding of the cell nucleus

Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2014)... Dr. Michael Kettel , a leading fertility ... NBC to discuss egg freezing as a viable and increasingly ... the news recently, with new company benefits at Facebook and ... , “[The companies] see it as a way to take ... path.” Says Dr. Kettel. , Up until a few weeks ...
(Date:11/23/2014)... iFitDress.com, a well-known wedding dress manufacturer, has unveiled ... They are now offered at deeply discounted prices, up ... now to Dec. 15. The main purpose of the promotion ... high quality items are ideal options for ladies who are ... money. All its new mint cocktail dresses are very beautiful; ...
(Date:11/23/2014)... Tbdress.com has recently announced that its Special ... 2014. The special offer will provide ladies many gorgeous shoes ... the world’s largest women’s dresses retailers, and its shoes include ... great discounts on that day: Everything at Tbdress.com is up ... above $89). , People can use the following coupon codes ...
(Date:11/23/2014)... FRIDAY, Nov. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Close friends ... general peer group does, a new study says. ... and peers have an influence on individual alcohol use, ... the broader peer group and the friend group,s influence ... Indiana University,s School of Public Health, said in a ...
(Date:11/23/2014)... TX (PRWEB) November 23, 2014 ... market such as its significance, programs and manufacturing ... and Chinese suppliers major market gamers in information. ... information, item specifications, prospective, manufacturing value, and 2009-2014 ... research, the evaluation symbolizes the globally and Chinese ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):Health News:Dr. Michael Kettel of San Diego Fertility Center Gives “An Inside Look at Freezing Eggs” on NBC 2Health News:Dr. Michael Kettel of San Diego Fertility Center Gives “An Inside Look at Freezing Eggs” on NBC 3Health News:Trendy Long Black Evening Gowns Now Provided By iFitDress.com 2Health News:Tbdress.com Special Friday Shoes Sales Online Now 2Health News:Close Friends May Be Key to Teens' Drinking 2Health News:Femoral Stems Industry 2014 Analysis & 2019 Forecasts for Global and Chinese Region in New Research Report at ReportsnReports.com 2Health News:Femoral Stems Industry 2014 Analysis & 2019 Forecasts for Global and Chinese Region in New Research Report at ReportsnReports.com 3Health News:Femoral Stems Industry 2014 Analysis & 2019 Forecasts for Global and Chinese Region in New Research Report at ReportsnReports.com 4
(Date:11/22/2014)... JUNCTION, N.J. , Nov. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... company commercializing its European Union approved CytoSorb® cytokine ... worldwide, was awarded the Beacon of Light Award ... Awards Celebration.  Dr. Phillip ... "It is an honor to be recognized by ...
(Date:11/22/2014)... , Nov. 21, 2014  Particle Sciences, ... devices, has developed and manufactured a new innovative ... the Research and Development arm of Exeltis Pharmaceuticals.  ... of Project Management at Particle Sciences, "This vaginal ... utilizing our material sciences and modeling expertise.  We ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... Calif. and VIENNA, Va. ... innovative in-home care provider that operates in ... a leading provider of remote caregiving technology. Alta will ... and existing client receiving homecare services. Logo ... this technology is the key to providing the kind ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:CytoSorbents Wins Beacon of Light Award 2CytoSorbents Wins Beacon of Light Award 3CytoSorbents Wins Beacon of Light Award 4Particle Sciences' Clinical Trial Supplies Group Manufactures Innovative Vaginal Ring 2Alta Home Care, Inc. and BeClose Partner to Enable Seniors to Remain in Their Homes Safely and Securely 2
Cached News: