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Chemical Sense Essay

1333 words - 6 pages



Chemical Senses
PSY/345 – Sensation and Perception
May 2, 2016
Jillian Watson-Hulum

The sense taste and the sense of smell are more complex then you could imagine. It is more than just breathing in air and putting food or drink in your mouth. It is complex system that involves the brain, nerve cells, memories, and chemicals. Combining these things makes the world around us have more meaning. Our brain is the main component but it cannot do all the work alone.
To understand how taste and smell work together, you first need to understand how each work as an individual sense. The sense of taste uses our tongue. Without tongue we are able to ...view middle of the document...

The perception of taste is transferred to the nervous system by the cranium nerves to the lower sections on the brain stem where they split to meet with other signals from other sensory perceptions.
One signal the perception of taste meets with is the perception of smell. Smell is associated with memory. We remember the smells and our sense of smell starts in the nose. Olfaction, is another name for the sense of smell. Olfaction works by being able to detect things around us such as gas, smoke, and favors. To understand the sense of smell, you need to understand this process as well. When you take a breath or inhale, the molecules goes in to the nose and the first stage begins in the olfactory mucosa and the olfactory bulb. They analyze the the chemical components of the odor and transform the chemical components into neural activity within the olfactory bulb.
The next stage is the olfactory cortex where the the activity is synthesized based on the chemical components received from the olfactory bulb. The odorant molecules enter the olfactory mucosa that is located on the top of the nasal cavity below the olfactory bulb. The molecules come into contact with the olfactory receptor neurons (ORN). The ORN’s contains the olfactory receptors that are sensitive to order chemicals. There are over 360 types of olfactory receptors that are responsible for a particular group of odorants. The odorants are sent as signals to the glomeruli in the olfactory bulb. They leave the olfactory bulb and goes to the piriform cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex where the amygdala is added to help determine the emotional reaction to smell. (Goldstein, E.B. (2014).
Knowing how the chemicals work together in tasting and smelling, we can work with flavors when it comes to our food and how we mix things together to come up with different taste. To make a meal taste better, I would change the sense of taste because smell is based on memory and once you have memorized as smell it does not change even if you introduce it as something different, you will be able to recall the original scent or odor. Changing you sense of taste is the easiest to do because you may use the same ingredients but by changing the amount you use of each ingredient can give your food a different taste. Another way to change the taste is by adding new ingredients. The new ingredients can add more sweetness, bitterness, or saltiness depending on what you are adding or taking away.
When creating a masterpiece, you need to have your sense of taste, your sense of smell and memories. Without these three components you would have a meal that is just there and you may not remember it. The sense of smell has to do with memory. You remember what you were doing when you smelled something and you remember how it made you feel. For example, if you...

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