Tongue Twisting Taste System In Brain.

In Brain Science, Senses and Perception by Brainy Days Ahead

Tongue twisting researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have discovered how special molecules communicate with the brain to identify the correct taste. That alone was not enough fun, so the scientists proceeded to rewire the taste-system of mice to perceive sweet stimuli as bitter tastes, and vice versa. These guys bear watching. Humans perceive taste through thousands of taste buds. Each taste bud contains 50 to 100 taste cells containing receptor molecules that can detect each type of taste – sweet, bitter, sour, salty, or umami (savory). The taste cells then relay this information to the brain. But the taste cells turnover rapidly and there is not much room for error.   How does the tongue keeps its sense of taste organized? When  taste receptor cells are produced, they express molecular signals that attract the right assortment of taste neurons. Says one researcher,  “Step-by-step studies like this one are helping us decipher the wiring rules of one of our most basic senses.”