The sense of taste provides animals with a rapid but limited chemical analysis of a potential food substance. For humans, the sense of taste mainly serves a hedonic function, but for animals it provides information that is often crucial to survival. The information obtained from the gustatory system permits animals to decide whether to ingest or expel a particular substance from the oral cavity. Over the past 10 years, direct studies of the taste cells have become possible through the use of a variety of techniques amenable to the study of small, single cells. These studies have provided new insights into the physiology of the taste cells and the processes of chemosensory transduction in the gustatory system. This chapter discusses these studies of primary transducing cells to understand the processes of taste transduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience