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Author Topic: How sensitive is a human's taste sense  (Read 3964 times)

Offline imd321

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How sensitive is a human's taste sense
« on: 04/02/2010 11:14:25 »
I've often heard reference to the fact that human's have a far inferior sense of smell to other mammals, but I'd be interested to know how sensitive our sense of taste is, and how it would be measured.


 

Offline Mr. Data

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How sensitive is a human's taste sense
« Reply #1 on: 29/06/2011 04:45:46 »
I've often heard reference to the fact that human's have a far inferior sense of smell to other mammals, but I'd be interested to know how sensitive our sense of taste is, and how it would be measured.


It is greately superior in many cases within the animal kindgom, but lacks in others, such as a dogs. We can only taste because the upper surface of our tongue contains gustatory calyculi - or simply taste buds. The receptors of all basic known tastes have been identified, and this gives us a good way to measure how strong a taste really is. In the case of a dog, it's taste is less developed because it has less receptors.

Interestingly, there are cases where the observer can taste words - strange? This is called synesthesia, and is very rare.
« Last Edit: 29/06/2011 04:48:09 by Mr. Data »
 

Offline Don_1

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How sensitive is a human's taste sense
« Reply #2 on: 30/06/2011 10:14:17 »
This 'taste' thing is rather strange. You put down a dish of Whoofy dog food and your pooch turns his nose up and walks away. Give him Barky dog food and he scoffs it as quick as he can. Yet in the wild, a wolf wont be at all fussy. If its edible, it will eat it as quickly as possible without regard to taste. Its interest is in getting its fair share before the its all gone.

Even my tortoises seem to have preferences. One loves a nice treat of cucumber, the other wont touch it! Sometimes they'll scoff a dandelion leaf, yet other times they turn away from it in preference to a nice bit of sow thistle.

I wonder if taste has developed due to man's ability to pick and choose and that this has had a similar effect on our pets. What do you think?
 

Offline imatfaal

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How sensitive is a human's taste sense
« Reply #3 on: 30/06/2011 11:13:21 »
Our taste/smell are very refined.  Whilst we may not be able to tell which bag has drugs in at the airport like the pooch can; I am almost ashamed to say I can tell the difference between years of quite a few wines and whiskies with a quick sniff.

We no longer have to sniff out the tree in fruit or the available carrion - but we have maintained a great deal of discernment, and any amount of practice and training and our sense of smell/taste comes to the fore
 

Offline Mr. Data

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How sensitive is a human's taste sense
« Reply #4 on: 02/07/2011 16:03:12 »
This 'taste' thing is rather strange. You put down a dish of Whoofy dog food and your pooch turns his nose up and walks away. Give him Barky dog food and he scoffs it as quick as he can. Yet in the wild, a wolf wont be at all fussy. If its edible, it will eat it as quickly as possible without regard to taste. Its interest is in getting its fair share before the its all gone.

Even my tortoises seem to have preferences. One loves a nice treat of cucumber, the other wont touch it! Sometimes they'll scoff a dandelion leaf, yet other times they turn away from it in preference to a nice bit of sow thistle.

I wonder if taste has developed due to man's ability to pick and choose and that this has had a similar effect on our pets. What do you think?

No, taste developed, like in most other mammals which have receptors in their tounges, because it was an evolutionary advantage to be able to taste meat that was off, or by tasting certain plantforms in identification of any toxins.
 

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How sensitive is a human's taste sense
« Reply #4 on: 02/07/2011 16:03:12 »

 

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