Olfaction: Feature Detection and Integration

In our everyday lives we experience a large variety of smells, each one comprising several to thousands of different molecules. Our olfactory system has the amazing ability to detect and discriminate these odors based on the molecules that they comprise. Odor processing and recognition takes place as odor information passes through several levels of the olfactory system. Beginning in the nose, odors are broken up into a collection of individual parts, or features. This feature information is refined in the olfactory bulb and is then synthesized into a single odor percept within the cortex. In this entry, odorant feature detection and the synthesis of features in odor objects will be covered.

Odorant Feature Detection

Every time we inhale a breath, volatile molecules emitted from odor sources travel ...

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