Expected taste intensity affects response to sweet drinks in primary taste cortex

Andrew T. Woods, Donna M. Lloyd, Johanna Kuenzel, Ellen Poliakoff, Garmt B. Dijksterhuis, Anna Thomas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Expectations about a food can impact on its taste, but this may represent a perceptual change or a bias in response at the decision-making stage. We hypothesised that expectation of taste intensity should be underpinned by modulation of activity in primary taste cortex. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that expecting a very sweet drink, but receiving a less sweet drink, enhanced the reported sweetness and bolstered activity in taste cortex, relative to a less sweet drink without this expectation. The activation overlapped with primary taste cortex activation found in 11 recent taste studies. Our findings provide evidence that taste expectation modulates activity in an area consistently reported as primary taste cortex, implying that expectation effects do indeed impact on taste perception. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-369
    Number of pages4
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2011


    • Expectation
    • functional MRI
    • insula
    • meta-analysis
    • sweetness
    • taste


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