Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Jennifer Sue KleinerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_799


Taste, one of the five primary senses, involves the chemoreception of protons, ions, acids, and other compounds associated with food and other substances (such as poisons).

Current Knowledge

Historically, there are four primary taste sensations perceived by the brain via receptors in the mouth and esophageal tract: salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. Recent literature identifies a fifth primary taste sensation known as umami, which Eastern experts identify as relating to savory flavors. Taste receptor cells are located on the surface of the tongue as well as on the soft palate and in the esophageal tract. Each taste receptor, or taste bud, has receptor channels responding to each of the five basic taste sensations. It is important to note that taste is not only discerned from information received by taste receptors, but is also closely related to the sense of smell.

The perception of salt is perceived when sodium ions enter directly into a receiving ion channel. This in turn...

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References and Readings

  1. Barlow, H. B., & Mollon, J. D. (1982). The senses. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Doty, R. (Ed.). (1995). Handbook of olfaction and gustation. New York: Marcel Dekker.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Blandford Physician CenterLittle RockUSA