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Wie wir riechen und was es für uns bedeutet

Journal article
Authors I. Manzini
J. Frasnelli
Ilona Croy
Published in Hno
Volume 62
Issue 12
Pages 846-852
ISSN 0017-6192
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 846-852
Language de
Keywords Sensory neurons, Signal transduction, Olfactory bulb, Olfactory perception, Sense of smell, HUMAN OLFACTORY EPITHELIUM, CORTEX, LIFE, DEPRESSION, PHEROMONES, QUALITY
Subject categories Clinical neurophysiology


The origins of the sense of smell lie in the perception of environmental molecules and go back to unicellular organisms such as bacteria. Odors transmit a multitude of information about the chemical composition of our environment. The sense of smell helps people and animals with orientation in space, warns of potential threats, influences the choice of sexual partners, regulates food intake and influences feelings and social behavior in general. The perception of odors begins in sensory neurons residing in the olfactory epithelium that express G protein-coupled receptors, the so-called olfactory receptors. The binding of odor molecules to olfactory receptors initiates a signal transduction cascade that converts olfactory stimuli into electrical signals. These signals are then transmitted to the olfactory bulb, the first relay center in the olfactory pathway, via the axons of the sensory neurons. The olfactory information is processed in the bulb and then transferred to higher olfactory centers via axons of mitral cells, the bulbar projection neurons. This review describes the mechanisms involved in peripheral detection of odorants, outlines the further processing of olfactory information in higher olfactory centers and finally gives an overview of the overall significance of the ability to smell.

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