The tongue is the region where taste is perceived. The tongue has regions that are sensitive to different tastes and these vary from person to person. Not only do people taste material in different places on the tongue, but the sensitivity to taste is different in individuals. Taste buds are located on the sides of papillae of the tongue. The lingual tonsils are found on the posterior tongue and the palatine tonsils are on the sides of the oral cavity. Posterior and inferior to the tongue is the epiglottis. The papillae of the tongue come in a few shapes. Vallate papillae are shaped like mesas. They have a flat top. Filiform papillae are line-shaped while fungiform papillae are shaped like mushrooms. Label and color the papillae.

Vallate Papillae

Color in the taste buds in the illustration. They consist of epithelial cells and nerve cells. Taste is sensed if the material to be tasted is in solution and comes into contact with the taste pore. The taste buds have taste hairs that extend into the taste pore and connect with taste cells that in turn synapse with sensory nerve fibers that take the sense of taste to the brain. Label the figure and color in the various structures.

Label The Following Different Tonsils

Answer Key: a. Epiglottis, b. Palatine tonsil, c. Lingual tonsil, d. Vallate papilla, e. Fungiform papilla, f. Filiform papillae, g. Taste bud, h. Taste pore, i. Sensory nerve fibers


The sense of smell is more complex than the sense of taste. There are only five primary tastes but many different kinds of smells. The region that is sensitive to smell is the olfactory epithelium which is located in the superior portion of the nasal cavity. The olfactory epithelium consists of elongated epithelial cells that are supporting cells with neurons called olfactory cells. These olfactory cells have olfactory hairs on their surface. Chemicals that are inhaled come into contact with a mucous sheet and are picked up by the olfactory cells. The sensation of smell is transmitted by the olfactory nerves through the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone and they synapse in the olfactory bulb at the base of the frontal lobe of the brain.

Answer Key: a. Olfactory bulb, b. Olfactory filaments, c. Olfactory epithelium d. Nasal cavity, e. Olfactory cells, f. Supporting cells, g. Cribriform plate, h. Olfactory hairs

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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