Three nerves carry taste signals to the brain stem: the chorda tympani nerve (from the front of the tongue), the glossopharyngeal nerve (from the back of the tongue) and the vagus nerve (from the throat area and palate). In addition, the trigeminal nerve carries signals from the touch / temperature / pain system. Taste signals combine in the brain stem areas involved in arousal (i.e. from sleep) then with smell signals in the brain to produce the sensation of flavour.

The taste pathway