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Thread: Where do taste and smell information converge in the brain?

  1. #1 Where do taste and smell information converge in the brain? 
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    I know that taste is heavily influenced by smell, and yet we experience taste as one experience. I'm assuming, therefore, that smell and taste information must converge somewhere in the brain. Where exactly?


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    Forum Bachelors Degree dmwyant's Avatar
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    Actually the two senses are located in different regions of the brain however their signals do merge in the region known as the insula. Three nerves bring taste messages to the brainstem: the facial nerve, which brings messages from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue; the hypoglossal nerve, which brings messages from the posterior tongue; and the glossopharyngeal nerve, which brings messages from the throat area and the palate. The nerve carrying messages from the touch/temperature/pain system is called the trigeminal nerve. All of these nerves bring their messages to the brainstem. The anterior cingulate cortex, and a part of the orbitofrontal cortex situated close to the flavor center in the insula. The insula is involved in determining the "what" of a flavor; the anterior cingulate is involved in transmitting the emotional responses associated with a flavor; and the orbitofrontal cortex is involved in weighing decisions based on values, and answering the question: "is this food desirable or not?"


    Last edited by dmwyant; May 5th, 2012 at 04:01 PM.
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  4. #3  
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    Thanks for that dmwyant, that was very informative.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmwyant View Post
    the facial nerve, which brings messages from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue; the hypoglossal nerve, which brings messages from the posterior tongue; and the glossopharyngeal nerve, which brings messages from the throat area and the palate. The nerve carrying messages from the touch/temperature/pain system is called the trigeminal nerve.
    What about the chorda tympani nerve? Some of my source mention this instead of the facial nerve.
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  5. #4  
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    The ovaltory bulb. For mice and rats, it locates beyond the frontal cortex.
    For human, it locates under the frontal cortex.
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