Chemical Senses

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Chemical Senses Robert J. Bernal June 6, 2016 Robert Levitt, Instructor University of Phoenix Intro The senses of smell and taste are chemically based senses that are unique to the other senses in the way in which the brain interprets them. Unlike other senses which are perceived and categorized analytically, taste and smell both pass through the emotional response center of the brain on the way to their being stored as memories, evoking an emotional association to their formation as engrams. Consider the unlikely association between taste and smell and the emotional response that they can trigger; a chemical reaction that gives off a gaseous “odor”, completely quantifiable by scientific standards, can trigger a purely…show more content…
Unlike other senses, the sense of smell does not initially travel directly to the analytical centers of the brain; instead it passes through the limbic system which is the center of the brain that many of our emotions and motivations are controlled (Smell and taste: Science of the senses [Video file], 2008). These motivations include fear, anger, and emotions related to sexual behavior; structures of this system also include the amygdala and hippocampus, which both play critical roles in memory (Bailey, 2016). The amygdala decides where memories are stored in the brain, it’s thought that the “size” of the emotional impact that the memory holds plays a large role in it’s location in the brain (Bailey, 2016). The Hippocampus sends memories the appropriate part of the cerebral hemisphere for “long-term” storage and then retrieves them when needed (Bailey, 2016). It is no surprise that with that the sense of smell passing through these structures, that meals and tastes that are related to emotional events, such as weddings, anniversaries, holidays, hold such visceral reactions when triggered by a smell. Foodgasm While there is no “credible” definition for what a “foodgasm” is, I will assume that for the sake of argument that the reader has at least heard the term and can extrapolate from its construction the meaning of the word. I feel that it is a
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