Often an actually excellent meal can make a night memorable. A brand-new research study of rats, released online February 18 in the Journal of Neuroscience, might assist describe why.

A choose group of afferent neuron in rats’ brains holds info about both tastes and locations, ending up being active when the best taste strikes the tongue when the rat remains in a particular place. These double-duty cells might assist animals overlay food places onto their psychological maps.

Scientist implanted electrodes into the hippocampus, a location of the brain that is greatly associated with both memory development and mapping. The rats then roamed around an enclosure, permitting scientists to determine “location cells” that end up being active just when the rat roamed into a particular area. At the very same time, scientists sometimes provided among 4 tastes (sweet, salted, bitter and plain water) through an implanted tube straight onto the roaming rats’ tongues.

A few of the active location cells likewise reacted to several tastes, however just when the rat remained in the best area within its enclosure. When the rat moved far from a location cell’s favored area, that cell no longer reacted to the taste, the scientists discovered. A psychological map of the very best areas for tasting something excellent would can be found in useful for an animal that requires to discover its next meal.