Gustatory (Taste) Pathway

The receptors are gustatory cells of taste buds

  • Distributed on the tongue, the epiglottis and palate.

  • From the anterior two thirds, nerve fibres join the chorda tympani.

  • From the posterior one third, they join the glossopharyngeal nerve.

  • The fibres from the extreme pharyngeal part as well as the epiglottis join the vagus nerve (Some fibres e.g. from the palate may be in the trigeminal nerve).

Secondary gustatory projections
  • The primary order neurons terminate in the gustatory nucleus

  • Secondary fibre systems arising from the gustatory nucleus project to ventral posteromedial nucleus of the thalamus .

  • Others project to :

    a) Hypoglossal
    b) Salivatory nuclei
    c) Dorsal motor nucleus of vagus nerve
    d) Phrenic nerve nucleus
    e) Anterior horn cells of thoracic spinal segments
    f) Pontine taste area

  • Third order neurons projects to both the insular and parietal opercular cortex.

  • Cell bodies are located in geniculate, inferior glossopharyngeal and vagal ganglia