This animation begins with a top view of the tongue then magnifies and shows two individual taste buds detecting taste molecules. The various taste centers (bitter, sour, sweet, and salty) are highlighted on the tongue.
The tongue has about 10,000 taste buds. The taste buds are linked to the brain by nerve fibers. Food particles are detected by the taste buds, which send nerve signals to the brain.
Certain areas of the tongue are more sensitive to certain tastes, like bitter, sour, sweet, or salty. Often, taste sensations are a mixture of these qualities.
Reviewed last on: 10/5/2008
Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Gene Therapeutics Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.