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The sense of taste

Taste is the sense that enables us to identify the flavors in foods. The principal organ involved in the perception of taste is the tongue. It is covered with gustatory  papillae that contain the sensory receptors  for taste: the taste buds.

This animation shows the three kinds of taste papillae spread around the tongue in specific locations. It also enables the illustration of the transmission of nerve impulses carrying information about taste, from the taste buds to the brain, along nerve fibers.

The specific zones for detection of the four basic flavors  (Bitter, Sour, Salty and Sweet) are not shown on the tongue, as is usually done, because recent studies have shown that things are much more complex than that.

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