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Neurological Foundations of Taste, Touch, and Smell

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The way the brain perceives stimuli says something about how taste, smell and touch affect behavior. Most stimuli that are perceived positively are, in fact, good for people; food tastes and smells "good" because without some kind of psychological inducement to eat, people would not survive. Stimuli that are perceived negatively are those that people need to avoid; the fact that rotting foods smell "bad" is the brain's way of keeping one from eating something that might make one sick.

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The interception of external energy is done by the part of the tongue, skin and nose that is in direct contact with the environment. Each of these sense organs has a specialized shape and structure designed to intercept a particular form of energy. Converting the captured energy into signals the brain can understand is done by cells inside the sense organ called receptors. Receptors are structures to are referred to as transducers: They convert one form of energy into another. Receptors are biological transducers which convert environmental energy intercepted by the sense organ into neural signals. These signals are then sent to the brain, where they are interpreted through a process called perception. Receptors in the taste buds intercept any ...

Solution Summary

The interception of external energy is done by the part of the tongue, skin and nose that is in direct contact with the environment. Each of these sense organs has a specialized shape and structure designed to intercept a particular form of energy.

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