Smelling tongue: more interaction between nose and tongue.
The general consensus that you smell with your nose and taste with your tongue has been challenged by a new study which finds you can also smell a little bit with your tongue.
Researchers have found that the interactions between the senses of smell and taste are more complex than previously thought – suggesting that the flavour of our food may begin on the tongue and not in the brain.
Until now, taste and smell were considered to be independent sensory systems that did not interact until their respective data reached the brain.
Taste cells found on tongue
Now, scientists have found that olfactory sensors – the sensors that detect odours in the nose – are also present in human taste cells found on the tongue.
“The presence of olfactory receptors and taste receptors in the same cell will provide us with exciting opportunities to study interactions between odour and taste stimuli on the tongue,” said Mehmet Hakan Ozdener, a research institute in Philadelphia.
The study will be published in the journal Chemical Senses.