The Illusion of Taste

When carbon (C), Oxygen (o) and hydrogen (H) atoms bond in a certain way to form sugar, the resulting compound has a sweet taste. The sweetness resides neither in the C, nor in the O, nor in the H; it resides in the pattern that emerges from their interaction. It is an emergent property. Moreover, strictly speaking, is not a property of the chemical bonds. It is a sensory experience that arises when the sugar molecules interact with the chemistry of our taste buds, which in turns causes a set of neurons to fire in a certain way. The experience of sweetness emerges from that neural activity.


When we taste sweetness, our tongues are not responding to the C, O, or H, but to the molecule.

Folksonomies: chemistry perception senses taste experience

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Molecule (0.951564): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Chemical bond (0.852309): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Atom (0.729897): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Oxygen (0.719821): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Water (0.642908): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Chemical element (0.631595): dbpedia | freebase
Chemistry (0.625096): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Chemical compound (0.568111): dbpedia | freebase

 The hidden connections
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Capra , Fritjof (2004-01-06), The hidden connections, Anchor, Retrieved on 2012-01-30
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  • Folksonomies: philosophy