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Preferring one taste over another without recognizing either


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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Figure 1: The brain of subject B.


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Supported by US National Institute of Mental Health grant MH067681 and US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant P01 NS 19632.

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Correspondence to Ralph Adolphs.

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Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., Koenigs, M. et al. Preferring one taste over another without recognizing either. Nat Neurosci 8, 860–861 (2005).

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