The taste cells that comprise each taste bud act as receptors. Taste cells and adjacent epithelial cells comprise a spherical structure with small projections called taste hairs that protrude from the taste cells. The taste hairs are the sensitive part of each receptor cell. A network of nerve fibers surrounds and connects all of the taste cells. Stimulation of a receptor cell triggers an impulse on a nearby nerve fiber, and the impulse then travels to the brain via a cranial nerve for interpretation.