Neuroscience

A new model for how the brain perceives unique odors

A study published in PLOS Computational Biology describes a new model for how the olfactory system discerns unique odors. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that a simplified, statistics-based model can ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Research examines coping mechanisms for loss of smell from COVID-19

One of the most common and disturbing side effects of COVID-19 is the loss of the sense of smell. New research from the University of Cincinnati found some common coping mechanisms that helped COVID-19 patients deal with ...

Other

The science behind the appeal of pumpkin spice

Fall is still days away but at coffee shops and grocery stores, it's already peak autumn thanks to the arrival of a certain flavor that has come to signal the season's unofficial start. Everyone knows, it's pumpkin spice ...

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Olfaction

Olfaction (also known as olfactics or smell) refers to the sense of smell. This sense is mediated by specialized sensory cells of the nasal cavity of vertebrates, and, by analogy, sensory cells of the antennae of invertebrates. For air-breathing animals, the olfactory system detects volatile or, in the case of the accessory olfactory system, fluid-phase chemicals. For water-dwelling organisms, e.g., fish or crustaceans, the chemicals are present in the surrounding aqueous medium. Olfaction, along with taste, is a form of chemoreception. The chemicals themselves which activate the olfactory system, generally at very low concentrations, are called odors.

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