Changes in the micro-structure of meals were studied in ten human subjects under different paiatability and deprivation conditions. The oscillographic recording of chewing and swallowing movements during standardized meals allowed many meal parameters to be precisely measured. Both increases in deprivation time (from 4 to 15 h) and in food preference produce larger, longer meals. These factor's effects were additive. Eating rate was accelerated in high relative to low preference conditions. The micro-structure of meals proved to be more sensitive to food preferences than to deprivation levels: chewing activity per standard food piece tended to decrease as preference increased, as observed in a previous study. However, in the first quarter of meals, chewing time was affected similarly by deprivation and by preference. A clear deceleration of eating rate was apparent between the beginning and the end of meals. The results are discussed in perspective with other human studies and with reference to preference and deprivation as continua.