Leaving a Bitter Taste in the Mouth

You know that old philosophical question: How do I know we both see the same colour when we look up at a blue sky? Some research just published asks the same type of question, but of our sense of taste.

The study shows that our tongues respond quite differently to a particular bitter taste synthesised in the laboratory. In fact, some people are a 1,000 times more sensitive to this chemical than others. This seems to be a direct result of genetic differences between us.

It’s this kind of research that underlines the fact that our most basic senses can differ in fundamental ways.
→ A summary of the research and the full heavyweight report

About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 25 February 2005

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