The sense of taste is activated when certain classes of chemicals contact specialized epithelial taste receptor cells in the tongue, palate, throat and, in some species, near the epiglottis and the upper esophagus. The various categories of taste stimuli detected at the periphery are processed alone, or in combination, to stimulate the percepts associated with nutrients and toxins, to drive complex ingestion or rejection behaviors, and to initiate physiological processes that aid in the digestion and assimilation of food. Our objectives here are to review some basic principles of taste function and its underlying neurobiology, while highlighting some of the methodological and interpretive issues associated with the assessment of taste perception in humans and nonverbal mammals.
Breslin, P. A. S., & Spector, A. C. (2008, February 26). Mammalian taste perception. Current Biology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2007.12.017