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.

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 ...

Neuroscience

Taste and its two ways to the brain

There are a few ways we perceive food, and not all are particularly well-understood. We know that much of it happens in the olfactory bulb, a small lump of tissue between the eyes and behind the nose, but how the stimuli ...

Neuroscience

Re-mapping taste in the brain

What happens in our brain that makes us experience the sweet taste of a donut or the bitter taste of tonic water? What are the patterns of neural activity responsible for the perception of taste? A new study from Stony Brook ...

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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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