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December 4, 1972

Chemical Senses, 1: Olfaction; 2: Taste

Author Affiliations

National Heart and Lung Institute Bethesda, Md


edited by Lloyd M. Beidler (Handbook of Sensory Physiology, vol 4), 518, 410 pp, 212, 176 illus, $46.90, $44.90, Springer-Verlag, 1972.

JAMA. 1972;222(10):1314. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210100062039

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These two volumes represent an attempt to put together our present knowledge in the field of the chemical senses. The first volume consists of 17 papers on diverse topics within the area of olfaction, the second, of 16 similarly diverse papers within the area of taste. Although the subject matter inherent in both of these sensory modalities has increasing relevance to medical practice, these volumes offer little to the practicing physician that may help him understand or evaluate the clinical problems that he sees so commonly. The volume on olfaction, the more complete of these two works, contains chapters dealing with comparative anatomy of olfactory systems of several species, the electro-olfactogram (EOG), neural coding in olfactory receptor cells, and insect olfaction. Although there are chapters on olfactory psychophysics and olfaction and nutrition, the major thrust of this volume is toward neurophysiological correlates of olfaction in lower animals with little material