L'évolution de la perception gustative: Les données psychophysiques et les réponses des nerfs de la gustation correspondent à la mecirc;me histoire évolutive de l'homme et des primates non humains

Translated title of the contribution: The evolution of taste perception: Psychophysics and taste nerves tell the same story in human and non-human primates

Claude Marcel Hladik, Patrick Pasquet, Vicktoria Danilova, Göran Hellekant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents a parallel analysis of the results of recent studies of taste responses of humans and phylogenetically different non-human primates, in order to provide evidence of the evolutionary history of taste perception, and to discuss its present significance. A cluster analysis of the signals recorded on isolated nerve fibres of the various non-human primates shows additive trees representations, corresponding to a two-way system that allows discriminating what is beneficial from what could be toxic or anti-nutrient (sugars vs. alkaloids and tannins) among a large number of chemical stimuli. In humans, using psychophysical data (recognition taste thresholds) with a similar method of analysis, we observed the same dichotomy in the additive tree and similar covariation between some tastes thresholds, notably those of alkaloids and tannins. The converging results obtained by both methods show that the target of evolutionary pressure was a set of taste receptors that were not initially tuned to respond to what is presently described as basic tastes.

Translated title of the contributionThe evolution of taste perception: Psychophysics and taste nerves tell the same story in human and non-human primates
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalComptes Rendus - Palevol
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Most research on human taste thresholds was supported by the European Union Programme CEE DG V-SOC 97 200420 05F02. Researches on isolated taste nerve fibres of non-human primates were carried out at the Madison University (Department of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center). Confrontation of results and further discussion on their respective significance have been carried out at the ‘Muséum national d’histoire naturelle’ (Paris and Brunoy, France), where G. Hellekant was a visiting professor.

Keywords

  • Alkaloids
  • Basic tastes
  • Gustatory nerves
  • Recognition thresholds
  • Sugars
  • Tannins

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