Article: article from journal or magazin.
The appreciation of wine by sommeliers: a functional magnetic resonance study of sensory integration.
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tPublication Status: ppublish
We set out to investigate how the expertise of a sommelier is embodied in neural circuitry by comparing brain activity elicited by wine tasting with that found in naive drinkers of wine. We used fMRI to study 7 sommeliers and 7 age- and sex-matched control subjects to test the hypothesis that any difference in brain activity would reflect a learned ability to integrate information from gustatory and olfactory senses with past experience. A group analysis showed activation of a cerebral network involving the left insula and adjoining orbito-frontal cortex in sommeliers. Both these areas have been implicated in gustatory/olfactory integration in primates. In addition, activation was found bilaterally in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is implicated in high-level cognitive processes such as working memory and selection of behavioral strategies. Naive individuals activated the primary gustatory cortex and brain areas, including the amygdala, implicated in emotional processing.
Adult, Brain Mapping, Cerebral Cortex/physiology, Humans, Learning/physiology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Nerve Net, Taste/physiology, Wine
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