Eli5: Why do you salivate just thinking of something acidic/sour?

49 views
0

Eli5: Why do you salivate just thinking of something acidic/sour?

In: 3

Pavlovian conditioning. Your body learns through experience that sour foods cause these reactions. Eventually, the mere sight, smell, or even thought of such foods causes the physical response.

Tl;dr- Your brain hacks your body.

Your produce saliva as a reaction to acid to dilute the acid and prevent damage to your teeth/throat, it’s an automatic reaction.

Obviously producing the saliva *after* you’re eating the acid doesn’t really help so the brain is wired to predict the acidity *before* you eat it and generate the saliva. Of course it’s a better than the alternative especially since producing saliva isn’t really bad for you, it’s not like there is a detriment to a little bit of mouth juice.

Many reactions can be triggered by “_thinking_”. Shivering. Erections of various “tissues”. Crying. Feeling sick (Nocebo). Feeling well (Placebo). Why would _just thinking_ not be enough for this one situation?