The brain has high-quality neurons for each of the 5 tastes categories –sour, salty, sweet, bitter and umami- USA experts have discovered.
The study, released in the Journal Nature, should settle years of discussions on how the brain perceives taste.
The Columbia University team presented the separate taste detectors on the tongue had a matching partner in the brain.
The expert’s hope the findings could be used to support reverse the loss of taste feeling in the elderly.
It is a myth that you flavor sweet just on the tip of the tongue.
Each of about 8,000 taste buds spread out over the tongue is able of sensing the complete suite of tastes.
When they notice the signal, an alert is sent to the brain. Even though how the brain deals with the detail has been up for discussion.
A Columbia University team engineered mice so that their flavor neurons would fluoresce when they were activated.
They then educated their endoscopes on the neurons deep at their brain base.
The animals were fed chemicals to activate either bitter, salty, umami or sweet on the tongue and experts monitored the brain change.
They found a hard wired link between brain and tongue.
Prof Charles Zuker told: “The cells were amazingly turned to discrete individual flavor qualities, you have a perfect match between the nature of the cells in your tongue and the standard they have in the brain.”
It scotches the substitute idea that the brain cells respond to multiple flavors.
Prof Zuker said: “they do not love eating anymore, you cannot trust how devastating this is.”
“We trust that is a taste reflection of the taste cells in the tongue.”
Stem cells in the tongue generate fresh cells every fortnight. Anyway, this process becomes bad with age.
“These findings offer an amazing avenue to support deal with this issue because you have an obvious understanding of how taste is functioning so you can visualize ways of improving that function,” Prof Zuker added.
Anyway, the findings are unlikely to support devise ways to attract children to eat their greens.
The 5 tastes are innate rather than leaned, and sour is the signal that something may be toxic.
Kids, of course, love the flavor of calories, namely sugar, and the only way to replace taste is with time.