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Title: Taste development: differential growth rates of tongue regions in humans
Contributor(s): Temple, Elizabeth  (author)orcid ; Hutchinson, Ian (author); Laing, David G (author); Jinks, Anthony L (author)
Publication Date: 2002
DOI: 10.1016/S0165-3806(02)00307-3
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Abstract: There is a paucity of information about the anatomical and functional development of the human gustatory system. Although the anatomical development of the taste-sensitive fungiform, circumvallate and foliate papillae in the respective anterior, posterior and latero-posterior regions of the dorsal surface of the tongue has been well documented in the fetus, there is limited information about how these regions grow and when they exhibit adult function. The present study is concerned with determining when the growth of one of these taste-sensitive regions becomes adult in size, namely, the anterior region, and how this growth compares with that of the remaining posterior region. Two-hundred and thirty-two living subjects aged between 4 and 32 years participated. Following the identification and marking of a series of landmarks on the dorsal surface of the tongue with blue food dye, five measurements of the width and length of various parts of the tongue allowed calculation of the growth of the anterior and posterior regions. The results indicate that the fungiform papillae-rich anterior region attains adult-size by 8–10 years of age whilst the posterior region continues to grow until 15–16 years. Interestingly, this early development is not matched by achievement of adult function [Dev. Brain Res. 82 (1994) 286] or adult size papillae or taste pores [Dev. Brain Res., submitted]. Finally, the findings of the present study will allow studies of the development of taste function in humans to be conducted using equivalent tongue areas in subjects of different ages.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Developmental Brain Research, 135(1), p. 65-70
Publisher: Elsevier
Place of Publication: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ISSN: 0165-3806
Field of Research (FOR): 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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