Taste the moment

Our ability to taste provides a huge amount of information to the brain.

Different tastes stimulate different parts of the tongue and in doing so, different parts of the brain. Taste conveys emotional messages of pleasure, aversion, and nostalgia. But it also can provoke reflection and analysis. It helps us to balance our bodies constitution, and ultimately, with enough awareness, it can even be a powerful source of healing.

Taste buds on the tongue translate the five types of taste: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and unami (savoury). The receptors for each of these tastes are located in different areas of the tongue.   The receptors translate these different tastes into electrical signals that travel to two different parts of the brain: the limbic system and the cerebral cortex.

The limbic system, which controls instincts, feelings, and memory formation, responds to taste messages by evoking emotions from the mind’s database of experience and association. The cerebral cortex, which governs abstract thinking and concept integration, processes taste messages through conscious thought and mental analysis.

By stimulating all our taste receptors, these areas are simultaneously triggered, unlocking high frequency activity in both the emotional and rational centers of the brain.  By transmitting messages to the brain, taste helps us identify foods that could help us, avoid toxicity, and seek the specific sustenance we best need to ensure our survival at a given moment.

Have you experienced an unusual taste? Do you have a picture of something that reminds you of taste. What have you tasted lately that you are still thinking about? What does taste mean to you?