Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Brain and Taste, 3

Taste buds are able to sense five distinct tastes: salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami or savory. Each on is linked to specific chemicals in foods. Generally, most human beings find salty, sweet, and umami foods quite pleasant. Sour and bitter tastes may register as being rather unpleasant. Three cranial nerves are responsible for carrying the chemicals that your taste buds pick up from food to the brain. Taste is ultimately decoded as flavor in the brain (not in the taste buds):

·         The facial nerve carries signals from the front two-thirds of the tongue
·         The glossopharyngeal nerve transmits signals from the back portion of the tongue
·         The vagus nerve conveys signals from the soft palate and epiglottis

More tomorrow.

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