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Tongue as information gatherers

Background

Tongue is equally an important sense organ. After all, taste is one of the most pleasurable of senses and has a direct relationship in heightening our joy of eating. 

Aim

Discover that different parts of the tongue are sensitive to different tastes.

Discover that foods don’t taste the same to all people. 

Activities

Obtain different types of sweets. Blindfold your partner and ask him to taste each one separately. Can he identify the flavours? Try with other friends.

Take some salt and sugar. Ask your friend to stretch his tongue. Place a pinch of salt at different spots of his tongue, for example at the tongue tip; at the sides; at the back and at the centre of his tongue. Do the same with sugar. Draw a tongue map to record areas where he could taste salt. Similarly record where he could taste sugar. Try with other friends.

Drop a piece of crushed neem leaf on your tongue tip. Do you taste it? Where all on your tongue can you taste it?

Make a solution of strong sugar or jaggery. Keep half of it. Add equal amount of water to the other half so that it becomes half as sweet as the first. Continue this process until you have a range of solutions of different strengths (sweetness). Mark the bottles or cups that contain the solutions so that you know their strength. Ask your friend to arrange the bottles in the increasing order of their strength. Can he do it by just looking at the solutions? Can he do it by tasting? Try with other friends.

Related Questions

Can you identify the taste the minute you put something in your mouth?

Can the underside of your tongue also provide the sense of taste?

Apart from your tongue, do you have the sense of taste elsewhere in your mouth? How will you find out?

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