The External Chemical Senses

  • George Somjen
Part of the Neuroscience Series book series (NSC)


Neither in the nerves of taste nor of smell are the Unes of communication uniquely ‘labelled’ for qualities. Specificity of responsiveness of individual afferent fibers of the chemical senses is a matter of degree. Nevertheless the question of a limited number of ‘fundamental’ tastes and odors is not resolved. If such exist, the question is whether individual receptor cells each contain a mixture of several specialized ‘receptor molecules’ in varying proportions. If there are no ‘fundamental’ stimuli of taste and of smell then some alternative scheme of the relatedness of sapid and odoriferous stimuli must be found.

A brief discussion of the ‘common chemical sense’ of mucous membranes, and the chemosensitivity of cutaneous ‘slow’ pain fibers, is included in this chapter.


Olfactory Receptor Taste Receptor Taste Cell Olfactory Mucosa Taste Receptor Cell 
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Copyright information

© Meredith Corporation 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Somjen
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke UniversityUSA

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