Taste bud

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Taste buds (or lingual papillae) are small structures on the upper surface of the tongue that provide information about the taste of food being eaten.

The human tongue has about 10,000 taste buds. There are four types of taste buds present in the human tongue.

  • Fungiform papillae - as the name suggests, these taste buds are slightly mushroom shaped if looked at in section. These are present mostly at the apex (tip) of the tongue.
  • Filiform papillae - these are thin, longer taste buds, and are the most numerous. These papillae are mechanical and not involved in gustation.
  • Foliate papillae - these are ridges and grooves towards the posterior part of the tongue.
  • Vallate papillae - there are only about 3-14 of these taste buds on most people, and they are present at the back of the oral part of the tongue. They are arranged in a V-shaped row just in front of the sulcus terminalis of the tongue.

It is known that there are five taste sensations:

Contrary to popular understanding, taste is not experienced on different parts of the tongue. The "tongue map myth" was based on a mistranslation of a German paper that was written in 1901 by a Harvard psychologist. Though there are small differences in sensation, which can be measured with highly specific instruments, all taste buds can respond to all types of taste.

External links

  • [1] (http://www.asha.org/about/publications/leader-online/archives/2002/q4/f021022a.htm) Beyond the Tongue Map
  • [2] (http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0020064) Taste Perception: Cracking the Code


Sensory system - Gustatory system Edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=MediaWiki:Gustatory_system&action=edit)

Tongue - Taste bud - Gustatory cortex - Basic tastes

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