The Organ of Taste

  • Andrea D. Székely
  • András Csillag

Abstract

Taste sensation is a form of chemical sense, specialized for the detection of compounds (tastants) dissolved in the saliva. Broadly speaking, taste is just one specific type of visceral sensation that is particularly relevant to food ingestion. Taste signals trigger a host of behavioral and autonomic responses, appetitive or aversive, most of which are visceral reflexes (salivation, gastrointestinal activation, swallowing, gagging, vomiting), or patterns of involuntary locomotor activity (orofacial movements, disgust responses). However, unlike many other visceral signals, taste is also accompanied by conscious perception, recognition, hedonic quality, and memory formation (i.e., predominantly cortical functions). Although these features make taste sensation a truly elaborate faculty, deserving a place among the five principal human senses, the intimate link with visceral sensation is reflected in the remarkably diffuse character of both taste perception and the processing of gustatory (taste-relevant) input.

Keywords

Sucrose Neurol Peri Fibril Trench 

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea D. Székely
    • 1
  • András Csillag
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Histology, and EmbryologySemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary

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