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Chemical Senses Paper Chemical Senses Paper February 7, 2016 PSY/345 Have you ever wondered why your food tasted different when you have a stuffy nose? Or why you innately smell things before you put them in your mouth? Possibly 1
Chemical Senses Paper why the smell of good food makes your mouth water? This is because your sense of smell and taste working together. These senses can also induce a memory long forgotten. To explore the reasoning behind these experiences, one should understand how they work. Taste and smell are two senses that depend on one another in one form or another. They are both called a chemical sense are able to work both separately and simultaneously. When you taste something, you utilize the receptors in your tongue to send information about it to your brain. These receptors are called taste receptors, or common referred to as the taste buds on your tongue. The nose is also full of receptors called olfactory receptors. These receptors then send electric signals to different parts of the brain. Primarily smell is recognized in the frontal lobe and taste in the parietal lobe. “Every person has between 5,000 and 10,000 taste buds. Each taste bud consists of 50 to 100 specialized sensory cells, which are stimulated by tastants such as sugars, salts, or acids. When the sensory cells are stimulated, they cause signals to be transferred to the ends of nerve fibers, which send impulses along cranial nerves to taste regions in the brainstem. Airborne odor molecules, called odorants, are detected by specialized sensory neurons located in a small patch of mucus membrane lining the roof of the nose . Odorants stimulate receptor proteins found on hair like cilia at the tips of the sensory cells, a process that initiates a neural response. (Society for Neuroscience, 2012)” Oddly enough these two senses collaborate together to make what we describe as flavor. Flavor is what we perceive of the things we eat and drink. When we taste something we are capable of distinguishing chemicals that have a sweet, salty, sour, bitter, savory taste to them. However, when we combine taste and smell, it enhances and sometimes alters the taste perceptions of our food and drink. When 2
Chemical Senses Paper one or both of these senses are impaired, it can alter the flavor perception. Not everyone

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