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Exercise 26 Special Senses: Olfaction and Taste

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Describe the cellular composition and the location of the olfactory epithelium.

Receptor cells (bipolar neurons) surrounded
by supporting cells. 1″ square area on roof of nasal cavity on each side of nasal septum.


How and why does sniffing improve your sense of smell?

Draws air superiorly into contact with the olfactory mucosa. (Most air entering the nasal passages passes inferior to the receptors.)


Five sites where receptors for taste are found.

tongue papillae, epiglottis, pharynx
soft palatte, cheek mucosa


Describe the cellular makeup and arrangement of a taste bud.

A structure consisting of centrally located gustatory (receptor) cells surrounded by supporting cells.


Taste and smell receptors are both classified as _____ because they both respond to _____.

- chemoreceptors

- chemicals in aqueous solution


Why is it impossible to taste substances with a dry tongue?

Substances must be in aqueous solution.



metal ions



Hydrogen ions, blocking K+ or Na+ channels



alkaloids, gust ducin



sugars, saccharine, lead salts, amino acids, gust ducin



glutamate, amino acid, gust ducin


Three factors that influence our appreciation of foods

- Smell

- Taste or temperature

- Texture


Most important factor that influence our appreciation of foods.

smell - we smell food before we see or taste it, we are attracted to the smell making us want to eat something even when we're not hungry


Expand on your explanation and choices by explaining why a cold, greasy hamburger is unappetizing to most people.

When hot, a hamburger is “juicy” and has an enticing aroma. When cold, the fat congeals, giving the hamburger a greasy taste and texture.


How palatable is food when you have a cold?

It's not. Smell is half of taste, when you have clogged nasal passages, you lack this added sensory input.

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