Brief Communication abstract


Nature Neuroscience 8, 860 - 861 (2005)
Published online: 12 June 2005 | doi:10.1038/nn1489

Preferring one taste over another without recognizing either

Ralph Adolphs1,2, Daniel Tranel1, Michael Koenigs1 & Antonio R Damasio1

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Stimuli can be discriminated without being consciously perceived and can be preferred without being remembered. Here we report a subject with a previously unknown dissociation of abilities: a strong behavioral preference for the taste of sugar over saline, despite a complete failure of recognition. The pattern of brain damage responsible for the dissociation suggests that reliable behavioral choice among tastes can occur in the absence of the gustatory cortex necessary for taste recognition.

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  1. Department of Neurology and Neuroscience Graduate Program, The University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.
  2. Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.

Correspondence to: Ralph Adolphs1,2 e-mail: radolphs@hss.caltech.edu



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