Biology Question #1394

Justin Murphy, a 10 year old male from Coquitlam asks on April 15, 2003,

How does what we smell affect what we taste?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on April 16, 2003

The tongue can only sense sweet, salty, bitter, and sour things. All the other subtle shades of flavour and taste come from the much more advanced sensory receptors in the nose. Inside the brain, signals from both the tongue's taste sensors and the nose's smell sensors are combined so you get the complete taste of the food. You can see how this works at the Merck Manual's page on How People Sense Flavors.

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