Taste and SmellAP Psychology
Taste• Gustation• Papillae: small mucous-membrane projections on
• Taste buds (receptors) line the top and sides of the papillae. Look at Figure 4.12 on page 132
Taste receptors/buds• Too small to see• One papilla can contain anywhere from 15
to 50 taste receptors.• Molecules of the substance are being sensed.• Four basic “taste”:
» Salty» Sour» Bitter» sweet
• New “taste”: Umani (MSG) found in processed foods (meats/cheese) and Asian dishes…..taste of amino acids.
Papillae• Infants have more papillae• Elderly have fewer• Extremely rare for someone to experience the
TOTAL loss of taste.
Tongue Map Myth• 1942: study by Edwin Boring at Harvard
University …..released the “tongue map”• His study was completely wrong!!!!• http://www.livescience.com/7113-tongue-map-tastel
ess-myth-debunked.html• 1993 major discovery was made!!!• All 5 “taste” can be detected• Taste receptors are located on the TONGUE,
ROOF OF THE MOUTH, CHEECKS, AND THROAT.
• Regeneration: within a week to ten days, taste receptors are replaced. Receptors can be destroyed! Age 40 starts to slow down.
Taste Preference• Genetic factors (sweets and bitter)• Breast-feeding (garlic/vanilla)• Cultural background/upbringing
Taste• Supertasters: 25% of the general
population. Have over 35 receptors in each taste bud. Typically find coffee bitter, perceive certain foods as sweetier, saltier, and “spicy” food are difficult to enjoy.
• Tasters: 50% of pop. Average number of receptors.
• Nontasters: 25% of pop. Detects very little flavors(tastes). Perception of taste is less intense.
Olfaction• The sense of smell.• Shape of the molecule of the chemical substances…
lock onto a receptor.• 10,000 diff. substances• Cilia= (hairs) collect molecules of odor…electrical
signal is sent to the olfactory bulbs….sent to the brain.
• Message is carried along the Olfactory Nerve• Nerve to the Olfactory bulb to the Olfactory cortex• Sensory info. DOES NOT go through the thalamus• Brain processes the message (perception)
Olfaction• Triggers emotional memories
(temporal lobes and limbic system)
• Helps in survival
Taste and Smell• Without smell we can not fully detect the
flavor of foods or drinks.