Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable
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October 4, 1913
If asked to make a distinction between the sense of taste and that of smell, most of us would
probably say that besides differences in the organs with which these manifestations are concerned,
the stimuli which call their respective sensations into existence are unlike. It has generally been
assumed and taught that taste is excited by substances in the state of solution and that smell is
called forth by products in a gaseous or vaporous condition. This view, however, has not remained
unchallenged. It has been contended by a number of physiologists that solutions may act as stimuli
for the olfactory surfaces, and some have gone so far as to assert that in normal functioning of the
sense of smell in man, the odorous particles are caught on the moist olfactory surfaces and
dissolved before they can act on the nerve terminals.
The Senses of Taste and Smell. JAMA. 2013;310(14):1509. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.5354