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A MAXIMUM LIKELIHOOD MODEL OF MULTISENSORY INTEGRATION IN FLAVOR PERCEPTION

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title
A MAXIMUM LIKELIHOOD MODEL OF MULTISENSORY INTEGRATION IN FLAVOR PERCEPTION
author
Elliott, Victoria Elizabeth
abstract
Multisensory integration, while crucial to our navigation and understanding of the world around us, has only been heavily studied in a few sensory systems, most notably vision and audition. Ironically, taste and smell are almost exclusively experienced as a multisensory percept known as flavor during consumption, but this integration has received little study to date. Human behavioral work concerning flavor mixture detection has demonstrated multisensory enhancement of flavor mixtures. However, results concerning subjective flavor evaluation are less clear. Work in other sensory systems, such as vision and haptics, indicates that sensory information from two distinct senses may be weighed according to their reliability in order to inform evaluative tasks. Flavor evaluation was found to operate via experience-independent weighted averaging: flavor consumption fell between taste and odor consumption, regardless of prior taste-odor experience, and was skewed towards the most reliable cue in the context of the task. In Chapter 1, during a consumption task (subjective evaluative behavior) , rats were found to weigh taste and odor, with consumption of flavor mixtures falling in between that of the unisensory taste and odor components. Furthermore, experience did not dictate integration during flavor mixture evaluation, as both congruent and incongruent flavor mixtures were observed to have the same consumption patterns. Chapter 2 examines the relationship between taste-odor weight and sensory reliability. Results from this two-bottle consumption choice task demonstrated that when the taste component of a flavor was less informative in making a decision, animals relied more heavily on the odor component of the mixture. Thus, these published results propound that evaluation in the flavor system is similar to that of other multisensory systems, suggesting that the brain may have a conserved, common mechanism of multisensory integration across all sensory modalities.
subject
Bayesian integration
Flavor
Multisensory integration
Odor
Taste
contributor
Maier, Joost X (committee chair)
Hampson, Robert E (committee member)
Salinas, Emilio (committee member)
date
2021-09-01T08:35:38Z (accessioned)
2021-09-01T08:35:38Z (available)
2021 (issued)
degree
Neuroscience – MS (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/99074 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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