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NeurogastronomyHow the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters$
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Gordon Shepherd

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159111

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159111.001.0001

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Forming a Sensory Image

Forming a Sensory Image

Chapter:
(p.59) Chapter Six Forming a Sensory Image
Source:
Neurogastronomy
Author(s):

Gordon M. Shepherd

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231159111.003.0007

This chapter examines how the brain represents our sensory world in order to serve as the basis for perception. It is hypothesized that by studying the neural mechanisms for setting up and processing a visual scene in the brain, we will learn principles that will apply to the neural mechanisms for setting up and processing a smell image in the brain. Confirming this hypothesis offers a new perspective on how smells are represented in our brains and how these representations contribute to the perception of flavor. The chapter discusses the following principles: the initial image representation in a two-dimensional sheet, lateral inhibition, contrast enhancement, temporal transients, center-surround inhibition, and feature extraction—all of which play essential roles in the formation of neural images in all sensory systems.

Keywords:   brain, smell, perception, image formation, sensory systems, lateral inhibition, contrast enhancement, temporal transients, center-surround inhibition, feature extraction

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