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Thread: How sense of smell affects sense of taste

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,888

    How sense of smell affects sense of taste

    What is the mechanism by which the sense of smell affects the sense of taste? Does this occur because both senses share some common sensory cells? - or is it an effect that happens in a higher level of brain function?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    18,801
    Define "taste".
    We have separate chemical sensors for tastants and odorants, in mouth and nose respectively. The neurological signals follow separate pathways (signals from the taste receptors go through the thalamus, signals from the odour receptors do not), but end up being integrated into a conscious perception in the orbitofrontal cortex. The conscious sensation generated there is often technically called "flavour" to distinguish it from the raw "taste" data coming from the taste receptors, but it's what people are often referring to when they talk about the taste of food.

    Grant Hutchison

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