There are four basic tastes, sweet, sour, salt and bitter, which are sensed by the taste buds of the tongue. Taste is subserved by:

The chorda tympani branch of the VlIth nerve, which supplies the fungiform papillae in the anterior two thirds of the tongue; The IXth nerve, which supplies the circumvallate papillae at the junction of the posterior third and the anterior two thirds of the tongue, as well as the foliate papillae at the base; The greater superficial petrosal branch of the VlIth nerve, which supplies the palate. The second order gustatory neurons are located in the rostral half of the nucleus of the tractus solitarius in the medulla oblongata. Their axons enter the ipsilateral central tegmental tract and terminate in the pericellular division of the ventral postero-medial nucleus of the thalamus.


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