Natural Science Unit 23 Laboratory Activity: Sensory Perception
Goal: To measure the location of taste sensors in the tongue
Materials and Equipment:
- Toothpicks or Cotton Swabs
- Vinegar -- sour
- Grapefruit or orange rind (the white stuff) -- bitter
- A partner
- "Map" of the tongue
- Blindfold the subject.
- Using a toothpick or cotton swab, coat the end with one of the four types of taste.
- Select one of the coated swabs to the tip, side, middle, or back of the tongue. With each touch, ask the subject
- to identify the taste
- to determine whether the taste is strong or weak
- Be sure to mix the order and location of each taste
- Record the location, type of taste on the swab, what the subject identified the taste as, intensity, and any other remarks by the subject
- Allow the subject to wash out his mouth between tastings.
If you have time, repeat the experiment but use cotton filters to block the sense of smell. Note whether the ability to distinguish tastes changes.
After describing your procedure, summarize your results as much as possible.
- Is there a pattern to the ability to taste?
- What surprised you about your subject's responses?
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