- Slides: 9
Taste (Gustation) • Taste is a chemical sense. • Fungiform Papillae have pores that allow chemicals to pass through to the 10 -20 taste buds inside them. • Each taste bud has a pore that contains 50 -100 taste receptor cells whose “hairs” sense food molecules. • When activated, receptor cells in taste buds send neural messages to the Thalamus which sends these to right Temporal Lobe where it is recognized.
Taste • Sweet • Sour • Salty • Bitter Fungiform Papillae • Umami • Damaged taste receptor cells are replaced within a few days.
Paul Ekman’s Infant Facial Expression Experiment • Body expressions are cultural but facial expressions are biological. • Newborn baby expressions when they tasted: – Water – No expression – Sour – Pucker – Bitter – Rejection, try to take it out of their mouths. Poisons are usually bitter so we have a natural aversion to them. – Sugar – Pleasant face. Put in amniotic fluid and found babies suck more and suckle earlier. – Salt – Doesn’t develop right away, takes a few days.
Linda Bartoschuk – Taste Study What kind of taster are you? (Tongue Painting & PTC filter paper experiment) • Super Tasters – ¼ are – more fungiform papillae, thinner, more likely in women (detect poison) • Medium Tasters – ½ population (most people here) • Non-Tasters – ¼ population – Taste really sweet, rich, lots of fat – as a result they eat more and are chubbier. (Survive Famines)
Taster Facts • Women are more likely to be super tasters. • Taste receptors reproduce themselves so if you burn your tongue they come back. • Alcoholics tend to be non-tasters. – Alcohol and tobacco kills taste buds permanently and prematurely. • Sensitivity to taste changes with age. – The number of taste buds deteriorates as we get older. • Women develop more taste buds with menarche and lose taste buds with menopause.
Supertasters and Nontasters • Watch “Tasters and Supertasters” (14: 00) – Segment #12 from Scientific American Frontiers: Video Collection for Introductory Psychology (2 nd edition).
What is flavor? • Flavor is the result of sensory interaction – smell, texture, temperature, appearance & taste combine to form flavor. • Close your eyes, hold your nose shut and try to distinguish between different foods. – Taste stays the same but flavor changes with how a food looks or what temperature it is served at. • Your sight and especially smell have an effect on what you experience as flavor.
Starburst/Skittle Experiment • Give someone a Starburst/Skittle and have them unwrap & eat it with nose plugged & eyes closed. • They won’t be able to tell you they flavor but they will know the taste is sweet. When they unplug nose they can tell what flavor. • Taste is bottom-up processing while flavor is top-down processing because it involves the brain making a decision based on sight & smell as well as taste. • Blindfold someone and give them orange juice – one that smells of vinegar but looks all right and another that looks black (with food coloring) but tastes fine. Have them taste it and then guess which one smelled or tasted bad. They will pick the black one.