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Effects of binary taste stimuli on the neural activity of the hamster chorda tympani
  • Published Date:
    Aug 1980
  • Source:
    J Gen Physiol. 76(2):125-142.
Filetype[PDF-1.12 MB]

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  • Description:
    Binary mixtures of taste stimuli were applied to the tongue of the hamster and the reaction of the whole corda tympani was recorded. Some of the chemicals that were paired in mixtures (HCl, NH4Cl, NaCl, CaCl2, sucrose, and D-phenylalanine) have similar tastes to human and/or hamster, and/or common stimulatory effects on individual fibers of the hamster chorda tympani; other pairs of these chemicals have dissimilar tastes and/or distinct neural stimulatory effects. The molarity of each chemical with approximately the same effect on the activity of the nerve as 0.01 M NaCl was selected, and an established relation between stimulus concentration and response allowed estimation of the effect of a "mixture" of two concentrations of one chemical. Each mixture elicited a response that was smaller than the sum of the responses to its components. However, responses to some mixtures approached this sum, and responses to other mixtures closely approached the response to a "mixture" of two concentrations of one chemical. Responses of the former variety were generated by mixtures of an electrolyte and a nonelectrolyte and the latter by mixtures of two electrolytes or two nonelectrolytes. But, beyond the distinction between electrolytes and nonelectrolytes, the whole-nerve response to a mixture could not be predicted from the known neural or psychophysical effects of its components.

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