Sense of Taste and Smell
By: Alexis Birts,
Cameron Birts, Tailor
Patterson, and Nisha
• The receptors for taste and olfaction are
classified as chemoreceptors.
• Olfactory and taste receptors both respond to
chemical in solution.
• The receptors for smell and taste compliment
• These receptors take up about as much space
as a postage stamp.
• The olfactory receptor cells are equipped with
olfactory hairs, long cilia, which are constantly
bathed in a layer of secreted mucus.
• Your olfactory, smell, receptors are located in the
roof of your nasal cavity.
• The olfactory receptors are stimulated by chemicals
dissolved on the mucus; they transmit impulses
along the olfactory filaments.
• The olfactory nerve conducts the impulses to the
olfactory cortex of the brain.
• There the odor is interpreted and an “odor
snapshot” is made.
• Olfactory receptors occupy a postage stamp-
sized area in the roof of each nasal cavity.
• They have many tiny hair-like cilia that
protrude from the olfactory cell’s dendrites
into the mucus covering the surface of the
Olfactory Pathway to the Brain
• When the olfactory nerves are stimulated by
chemicals dissolved in the mucus, they
transmit impulses along the olfactory filament
and to the olfactory nerve.
• From there the olfactory nerve transmits
these impulses to the olfactory cortex of the
• The Brain makes an “odor snapshot” and the
odor is never forgotten.
– The function of these receptors is
to relay a message to the brain so
that the brain can determine a
– around the small structures on the
upper surface of the tongue
– Soft palate,
– upper esophagus
• Taste buds begin on the surface of the tongue called
the corium. The taste bud is surrounded by support
cells. Within the buds are gustatory (taste) cells. On
these cells are gustatory hairs.
The gustatory pathway
• When these receptors are stimulated, they
depolarize and send impulses to the brain. The
cranial nerves in the brain then process the impulses
and send them to the gustatory cortex which
Five Basic Taste Sensations
• These tiny hairs have sweet receptors, sour
receptors, bitter receptors, salty receptors and
Factors that influence taste
• Sense of smell: when we are congested or
lose our ability to smell, foods can taste
different (coffee would simply be bitter)
• Temperature and Texture of Food: people
may find a cold or greasy burger unfit to eat
• Spicy foods: such as hot peppers excite pain
receptors in the mouth