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Olfaction and Taste 

Olfaction and Taste
Chapter:
Olfaction and Taste
Author(s):

Per Brodal

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190228958.003.0019
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date: 05 March 2021

Chapter 19 deals with olfaction and taste. These chemical senses enable people to recognize a vast number of different molecules. Both senses depend on binding of molecules to specific chemoreceptors. The olfactory sensory cells are neurons with an axon going to the olfactory bulb. The olfactory tract goes directly to the primary olfactory cortex (piriform cortex) in the medial temporal lobe. The taste (gustatory) receptor cells in the taste buds are equipped with receptors identifying four basic taste qualities. Signals from the taste buds are transmitted in the facial and glossopharyngeal nerves to the solitary nucleus in the upper medulla. From there signals are distributed to other brain stem nuclei important for food intake and digestion and to higher levels such as the hypothalamus, the amygdala, and the primary taste area. Integration of olfactory and taste signals occurs in the orbitofrontal cortex.

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