Using Animal Models to Determine the Role of Gustatory Neural Input in the Control of Ingestive Behavior and the Maintenance of Body Weight. Ciullo DL, Dotson CD. Chemosens Percept 2015; 8(2):61-77.
INTRODUCTION: Decades of research have suggested that nutritional intake contributes to the development of human disease, mainly by influencing the development of obesity and obesity-related conditions. A relatively large body of research indicates that functional variation in human taste perception can influence nutritional intake as well as body mass accumulation. However, there are a considerable number of studies that suggest that no link between these variables actually exists. These discrepancies in the literature likely result from the confounding influence of a variety of other, uncontrolled, factors that can influence ingestive behavior.
STRATEGY: In this review, the use of controlled animal experimentation to alleviate at least some of these issues related to the lack of control of experimental variables is discussed. Specific examples of the use of some of these techniques are examined.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: The review will close with some specific suggestions aimed at strengthening the link between gustatory neural input and its putative influence on ingestive behaviors and the maintenance of body weight.
KEYWORDS: Animal models; Food intake; Gustatory neurotomy; Meal pattern analysis; Taste