By Douglas B. Light, Denton A., M.D. Cooley
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Additional info for The Senses
In addition, there are age-related changes in taste discrimination. The number of DID YOU KNOW? While eating food, the mouth is exposed to a number of different kinds of stimuli. For instance, because the mouth is in direct communication with the nose, volatile substances readily go from the mouth to odor receptors in the nose and give us the sensation of smell. In fact, most of what we perceive as taste involves the sense of smell. This helps explain why food tastes bland when your nose is stuffed up from a cold or allergy.
LOCATION OF TASTE RECEPTORS The receptor organs for gustation are called taste buds, which are structures composed of specialized epithelial cells. Taste buds are found in the mouth, with most of them located on the superior (top) surface of the tongue. However, a few taste buds are also found in the pharynx (throat), soft palate, and epiglottis. As we age, these nonlingual (non-tongue) taste buds decrease in number and importance. 1). There are four types of lingual papillae on the human tongue; only three of these have taste buds.
They contain intrafusal fibers enclosed within a connective tissue capsule, and act as receptive surfaces by DID YOU KNOW? We all have the same physical threshold for pain. That is, different people’s receptors all respond to painful stimuli at the same intensity. For example, we sense heat as painful at 111° to 115°F (44° to 46°C), the range at which it begins to damage tissue. However, our reactions to pain, or pain tolerance, vary widely and are influenced by cultural, emotional, and psychological factors.