Anyone who has been forced to pinch their nose while downing a bad-tasting medicine knows that the sense of smell plays a powerful role in the sense of taste. Taste is a limited sensation, with receptors on the tongue only picking up a few specific tastes. The sense of smell contributes to the perception of taste by providing more information to add to taste.
Stimulating the Senses
Both olfactory (sense of smell) receptor cells and gustatory (sense of taste) receptor cells are known as chemoreceptors, and they are stimulated by certain molecules. The stimulation of these receptors carries a message to the brain, which produces the sensations of smell and taste.
How Does Smell Affect Taste?
Much of what humans perceive to be taste is actually the sense of smell. Gustatory receptors are responsible for detecting a limited number of conditions: sweet, sour, bitter and salty. The odor molecules picked up by the olfactory receptors fill in the rest, leading the scent of lemon to make us taste lemon and the scent of chocolate to make us taste chocolate.
The Loss of Smell and Taste
Many factors may contribute to the loss of smell, which impairs the sense of taste. Smoking, polyps, upper respiratory infections and radiation treatments are some factors that can damage the perception of smell and taste. With age, the sense of smell and taste can also be lost. People who believe they may have impaired senses of smell and taste should visit an otolayngologist, or a head/neck surgeon, for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Photo Credit tasting coffee image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com
A Science Fair Project on Smell Affecting Taste
The olfactory and gustatory nerve cells, which govern smell and taste respectively, are very closely related. This close relationship becomes especially evident...
Smell Vs. Taste Experiments
How Smell Affects Taste Experiment; Taste & Smell Experiments; Print this article; The Mechanics of Taste. Taste buds are found on the...
Loss of Smell Due to Sinus Infection
An infection that affects the sense of smell is likely to affect the sense of taste, as well. ... Does the Sense...
Alcohol's Effects on the Senses
Alcohol alters brain activity, which affects bodily functioning and the senses to varying degrees depending ... his or her sense of taste...
Things That Affect Your Sensitivity to Taste
Does the Sense of Smell Affect the Sense of Taste? Print this article; Medications. ... Does the Sense of Smell Affect the...
What Is the Relationship Between Tasting & Smelling?
The two senses of taste and smell are very ... As we eat, our taste buds' receptions also react to a food's...
Reasons for a Heightened Sense of Smell & Taste
Of the five senses, taste and smell are very closely related. To perceive a smell, ... Prolonged stress can contribute to heightened...
How to Lose Sense of Taste
Remember: Permanent loss of taste might affect your ability to detect dangerous natural gas ... Try to restore your sense of smell...
Science Projects With Smells
Reasons for a Heightened Sense of Smell & Taste. Of the five senses, taste and smell are very closely related. ... Does...