Can You Taste Your Tongue?

Can You Taste Your Tongue?

Your tongue is an incredibly important part of your body. The tongue serves as one of the primary ways we experience the world. This tiny muscular organ aids us in speaking as well as tasting and chewing our food!

But have you ever wondered if the tongue can taste itself?

It might sound like a strange question but this same puzzle is frequently applied to our other senses as well, for example, our eye cannot see itself– unless it looks into a mirror!

So what about the tongue?

Your tongue certainly can taste food, and even your own saliva, but it gets trickier when it comes to tasting itself.

One way of answering this question is the concept of habituation. Or in simple terms the idea that if a stimulus is presented often enough or long enough we learn to ignore it. For example, think about how you ignore the weight of the clothes that you wear. Or how, after a while you ignore background noise in a loud and crowded room.

So how does that work with taste?

Similarly, when it comes to taste or smell, prolonged exposure causes us to stop noticing it. Like how you can get used to the perfume you’re wearing, but every person who meets you can smell it on you.

So it could be that since our tongue has been in our mouth since the day we were born- we have simply learnt to completely ignore its taste.

But it could be that it’s not possible for you to taste your tongue at all in the first place.

This is because the tongue isn’t alone in helping us experience or taste flavors. Our nose plays a very important role too.

Along with the taste receptors on our tongues our brain also depends on the sense of smell to interpret flavor or taste.

To understand, this try thinking of a time when you had a bad cold and had your nose blocked. We particularly dislike eating at a time like this because everything tastes bland to us. That’s because we cannot smell our food. And since our nose cannot smell our tongue, it could be another possible reason why we can’t assign a particular or any taste to the tongue.

The receptor cells in our taste buds are also located on the bumpy external surface of our tongue. So it could also be that they’re not able to turn those powers inward on themselves and taste the tongue!