olfactory systemGo to external page http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/UBERON_0005725
A sensory system that is capable of olfacttion (the sensory perception of smell). [ http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6601-2165 ]
- UMLS:C0228065 (ncithesaurus:Olfactory_System)
efo_slim, pheno_slim, vertebrate_core
consider splitting into main and accessory. See also: vomeronasal organ
we make the relationship to nervous system 'overlaps', as the olfactory system includes e.g. apertures in the cranium that are not part of the nervous system
The sensory system used for olfaction (the sense of smell).[AAO]
The olfactory system is the sensory system used for olfaction, or the sense of smell. Most mammals and reptiles have two distinct parts to their olfactory system: a main olfactory system and an accessory olfactory system. The main olfactory system detects volatile, airborne substances, while the accessory olfactory system senses fluid-phase stimuli. Behavioral evidence indicates that most often, the stimuli detected by the accessory olfactory system are pheromones. The olfactory system is often spoken of along with the gustatory system as the chemosensory senses because both transduce chemical signals into perception[WP][Wikipedia:Olfactory_system].
In mammals, the main olfactory system detects odorants that are inhaled through the nose, where they contact the main olfactory epithelium, which contains various olfactory receptors. These olfactory receptors are membrane proteins of bipolar olfactory receptor neurons in the olfactory epithelium. Rather than binding specific ligands like most receptors, olfactory receptors display affinity for a range of odor molecules. Olfactory neurons transduce receptor activation into electrical signals in neurons. The signals travel along the olfactory nerve, which belongs to the peripheral nervous system. This nerve terminates in the olfactory bulb, which belongs to the central nervous system. The complex set of olfactory receptors on different olfactory neurons can distinguish a new odor from the background environmental odors and determine the concentration of the odor[WP].