In 1822, Francois Magendie after dividing the trigeminal nerve within the skull in dogs made the following statement: "The question of taste, formerly so obscure, no longer presents any difficulty. Physiological experiments and pathological observations have solved it. If the trunk of the fifth nerve is divided in the skull, taste is completely lost, even for sour and bitter substances. This total loss of taste has been noticed in persons in whom the fifth nerve has been compressed or altered." The problem of taste was not, however, to be settled so simply and unequivocally.
As it has been impossible to expose the nerves concerned in the mediation of taste sensations throughout their courses, indirect methods of study, such as the following, have been employed: (1) clinical studies checked by pathologic observations, (2) experiments on animals and (3) postoperative observations on human beings. From the evidence which has accumulated, one theory