Neuroscience

Fruit fly study reveals function of taste neurons

What can the fruit fly teach us about taste and how chemicals cause our taste buds to recognize sweet, sour, bitter, umami, and salty tastes? Quite a lot, according to University of California, Riverside, researchers who ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

COVID-19—smell, taste and recovery of flavor

2020 was a doozy of a year, to say the least! As 2021 continues to transition us out of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to global public health efforts, we are often left with questions about the lingering health effects of ...

Health

Pulling wisdom teeth can improve long-term taste function

Patients who had their wisdom teeth extracted had improved tasting abilities decades after having the surgery, a new Penn Medicine study published in the journal Chemical Senses found. The findings challenge the notion that ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Taste and smell gone forever? The anguish of COVID survivors

Three days after testing positive for COVID-19, "everything tasted like cardboard," recalls 38-year-old Elizabeth Medina, who lost her sense of taste and smell at the start of the pandemic. A year later, she fears she will ...

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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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