An olfactory-submandibular salivary reflex in humans

Exp Physiol. 1992 Jan;77(1):221-4. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.1992.sp003578.


In a previous study we concluded that there is no olfactory-parotid salivary reflex in humans (Lee & Linden, 1991). The present study examines the olfactory-submandibular salivary reflex. Bilateral submandibular saliva was collected using custom-made collection devices for each of nine subjects. Salivary flow was measured in response to six appetizing odours: peppermint, vanilla, chocolate, beef, tomato and lemon. A significant increase in salivary flow was seen in response to each. There was no significant response to distilled water. We conclude that an olfactory-submandibular salivary reflex does exist in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parotid Gland / metabolism
  • Reflex / physiology*
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Salivation / physiology*
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Submandibular Gland / metabolism