Ikuhiro Kida1, Yoko Hoshi2, Masahito Nemoto2, Yoshinobu Iguchi2, Yoshichika Yoshioka3
1Center for Information and Neural Networks, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Suita, Osaka, Japan; 2Integrated Neuroscience Research Project, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan; 3Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan
Our previous study using BOLD fMRI demonstrated that tastants evoke bilateral responses in the insular cortices, but that these representations are asymmetrical in rodents. There are two possible interpretations of asymmetrical responses: asymmetrical functional representations or asymmetrical positions of the insular cortices. We performed MRA and optical imaging to measure the anatomical positions and functional representations, respectively, of the insular cortices. We found that the bilateral gustatory cortices have symmetrical functional representations, but contain anatomical asymmetries that result in bilateral asymmetry. This suggests that the cerebral vasculature provides a reliable reference point for functional representations in the gustatory cortex.