01 November 2019
A question of taste

Altogether we have about 10,000 taste buds, mostly distributed around the tongue, except in the middle where there are none. Additional taste buds are found in the roof of the mouth and lower down the throat.

Our mouths have a greater number of receptors for pain and other sensations. When you describe a chilli as hot you are being more literal than you might suppose. Your brain interprets it as actually being burned. Chillies innervate the same neurons that you activate when you touch a 168°C ring on your stove. Essentially, your brain is telling you that you have got your tongue on the stove!

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