Taste receptor cells in the mouth, tongue, palate, and pharynx are innervated by axons of afferent neurons with cell bodies located in peripheral ganglia associated with facial, glossopharyngeal, and vagal cranial nerves. Centrally directed axons enter the medulla oblongata and synapse with secondary sensory neurons in the rostral portion of the nucleus of the tractus solitarius (Fig. 2c). Ascending axons of these secondary cells synapse in the parabrachial nucleus (pontine taste center) and also possibly project directly to the thalamus. Neurons in the parabrachial nucleus have extensive rostral connections with forebrain regions, including the amygdala and taste areas of the cortex.

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