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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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Smell, Flavor, and Consciousness

Smell, Flavor, and Consciousness

(p.216) Chapter Twenty-Five Smell, Flavor, and Consciousness

Gordon M. Shepherd

Columbia University Press

For a sensory stimulus to be perceived, we need to be conscious, alert, and paying attention. While understanding all these brain mechanisms goes far beyond the main subject matter of neurogastronomy, the question of consciousness is relevant because we cannot make use of our internal flavor image unless we are conscious. This chapter addresses the question of where in the smell pathway does conscious perception of smell arise. One possibility is that conscious smell perception arises in the olfactory cortex. This idea is supported by the finding by Verity Brown in 2007 at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland that rodents in which the olfactory area of the orbitofrontal cortex has been removed can still perform normally on an odor identification task.

Keywords:   smell, flavor, consciousness, perception, human brain, neurogastronomy, smell perception, olfactory context

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