Myth: Our tongues have different zones where we taste different sensations like… bitter, sour, salty, and sweet.
For decades, we were taught this and shown this popular tongue map to reenforce the teaching. And because of that, many of us were sure we tasted certain flavors on certain areas of our tongue.
Oh the power of suggestion! Though I’m often a skeptic, I believed this tongue map theory for years.
This theory originated from a 1901 paper written by an otherwise fairly well respected Harvard psychologist Edwin G. Boring. It was a mistranslation from a German research paper that included data about the tongue which was taken out of context and the theory was born.
About 70 years later more research was finally done and the tongue map theory was proven to be false.
Fact: All taste sensations come from all areas of our tongue.
Here’s a short clip about one man’s thoughts about this theory…
Were you taught the tongue map theory? Did you believe it and taste the specified tastes at the defined areas?