Olfactory sensation belongs to the chemical senses, in particular for the detection of volatile molecules that are traveling freely in the atmosphere. Conversely, the other main chemical sensory function, taste, is based on the detection of compounds that are dissolved in liquid. This difference, however, is not as sharp as it appears because in both cases the molecules are ultimately dissolved in a mucous film overlying the receptor cells. If anything, taste and smell are far more separated by the way their signals reach the brain: olfactory information is the only modality in vertebrate animals that can access the telencephalon directly. All the other sensory inputs, taste included, reach the telencephalic centers via a diencephalic (thalamic) relay. This situation underscores the paramount importance of odor signals in the animal kingdom and, albeit to a lesser degree, also in humans.
|Title of host publication||Atlas of the Sensory Organs|
|Subtitle of host publication||Functional and Clinical Anatomy|
|Number of pages||21|
|ISBN (Print)||1592598498, 9781588294128|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas