How are Taste and Smell Connected?


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Have you ever tried holding your nose while eating something and noticed that the taste isn't nearly as strong?  I remember when I was a kid and my mom would make me drink that disgusting cough medicine when I was sick.  She would tell me to just hold my nose and drink it and it would always work.  I've always wondered WHY this is the case and figured it might be a decent topic to blog about.

sense-smell.jpg

According to a professor at the University of Colorado-Denver Medical School, the sensation of flavor is actually a combination of both taste and smell.  This is due to oral cavities and nasal cavities being connected, so as you chew, you are forcing air through your nasal cavity, thus carrying the smell along with it.  Without smell, you wouldn't be able to pick up more complex flavors, and would instead be limited to the basic flavors that the tongue picks up: salty, sweet, and bitterness.  So next time you need to consume that tastes pretty gross, just hold you nose and gulp it down.


2 Comments

I felt the same way as I would wonder why I could never taste anything when I got a cold and my nose was congested. It's pretty cool how the human anatomy works where two different sense out of our five can combine to create a sensation such as taste. I wonder if there are any sensual combinations that can create similar results like smell and taste.

This is actually very interesting. Every time i had to drink or eat something i would always hold my nose. But did you also know that your eyes and your nose are connected? That's why every time you cry your nose seems to run too.The tears actually travel from the eyes to the nose. Here's the rest of the article if you're interested in the details!

http://www.revophth.com/content/d/therapeutic_topics/i/1328/c/25487/

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