Taste Centers

The taste centers are in the cortex and in the thalamus of the brain. The organ of taste is the tongue. The surface of the tongue is covered with thousands of tiny fronds or papillae, which give it a velvety sheen. The taste buds, the primary organs of taste, are found within these papillae. There are four type of papillae-filiform, fungiform, foliate and vallate. Filiform and fungiform papillae are found on the front half of the tongue, and foliate papillae at the back. Filiform are threadlike in shape and more numerous than the mushroom-shaped fungiform type. Vallate papillae form a V across the back of the tongue. The base of the tongue is devoid of papillae, but is covered with nodules of lymphoid tissue, which make up the lingual tonsil. A taste bud consists of taste cells, with hairs that project into the moats surrounding the papillae, supporting cells and nerves. The salivary glands are connected by nerves to the taste buds. Stimulation of the taste buds stimulates the salivary glands to produce saliva.

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