Neuroscience

The sweet spot: Scientists discover taste center of human brain

Researchers long ago mapped sight, hearing and other human sensory systems in the brain. But for taste, which could be considered our most pleasurable sense, precisely where the "gustatory" cortex is and how it works has ...

Health

Try this healthy makeover for a favorite fast food

(HealthDay)—Take-out pizza is the ultimate fast food—gooey cheese, salty sauce, fatty pepperoni, all baked on top of what's basically white bread. But there's no need to feel guilty about enjoying a hot slice once you've ...

Neuroscience

So close, rats can almost taste it

A subset of neurons in the hippocampus respond to both place and taste, according to research in male rats published in JNeurosci. The study shows how animals may remember and find their way back to locations where they previously ...

Health

Tap or bottled? Water composition impacts health benefits of tea

Here's to sipping a cupful of health: Green tea steeped in bottled water has a more bitter taste, but it has more antioxidants than tea brewed using tap water, according to new Cornell University food science research published ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Loss of taste? The problem's probably up your nose

When patients report losing their sense of taste, the problem is most likely due to a dysfunction in their sense of smell, according to research from Virginia Commonwealth University's Smell and Taste Disorders Center.

Health

Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do

Why do we like the bitter taste of coffee? Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances. By evolutionary logic, we should want to spit it out.

Health

Salt: how to cut back without losing that delicious flavour

One of the targets of the UK government's new health strategy is salt. Your body needs salt to function normally, but an excess leads to raised blood pressure and an increase in the risk of stroke and heart disease. Since ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Is there a universal hierarchy of human senses?

Research at the University of York has shown that the accepted hierarchy of human senses—sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell—is not universally true across all cultures.

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Taste

Taste (or, more formally, gustation) is a form of direct chemoreception and is one of the traditional five senses. It refers to the ability to detect the flavor of substances such as food, certain minerals, and poisons. In humans and many other vertebrate animals the sense of taste partners with the less direct sense of smell, in the brain's perception of flavor. In the West, experts traditionally identified four taste sensations: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Eastern experts traditionally identified a fifth, called umami (savory). More recently, psychophysicists and neuroscientists have suggested other taste categories (umami and fatty acid taste most prominently, as well as the sensation of metallic and water tastes, although the latter is commonly disregarded due to the phenomenon of taste adaptation.[citation needed]) Taste is a sensory function of the central nervous system. The receptor cells for taste in humans are found on the surface of the tongue, along the soft palate, and in the epithelium of the pharynx and epiglottis.

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