accessory olfactory bulb- the structure in the brain where neural impulses from the vomeronasal organ are processed.
action potential- a brief fluctuation in membrane potential caused by the rapid opening and closing of voltage-gated ion channels. Action potentials sweep like a wave along axons to transfer information from one place to another in the nervous system.
Adenylyl cyclase-an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of ATP to cAMP, a second messenger
ATP (adenosine triphosphate)- the molecule that is the cell's energy source. The hydrolysis of ATP to produce adenosine diphosphate (ADP) releases energy that fuels most of the biochemical reactions of the neuron.
chemoreceptor- any sensory receptor selective for chemicals
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate- a second messenger formed from ATP by the action of the enzyme adenylyl cyclase
depolarize - to make the membrane potential less negative.
diencephalon- a region of the brain stem including the thalamus and hypothalamus
epilethelium-see olfactory epithelium
glomerulus- a cluster of neurons in the olfactory bulb that receives input from olfactory receptor neurons
G-protein- a membrane-bound protein that binds GTP when activated by a membrane receptor. Active G-proteins can stimulate or inhibit other membrane-bound proteins.
hypothalamus- the ventral part of the diencephalon, involved in the control of the autonomic nervous system and the pituitary gland.
Korsakoff's Syndrome- A neurological syndrome resulting from chronic alcoholism, characterized by confusion, confabulations, apathy, and amnesia.
limbic system- a group of interconnected deep brain structures, common to all mammals and involved in olfaction, emotion, motivation, behavior and various autonomic function
nasal septum- the cartilage separating the nostrils
neocortex- the cerebral cortex with six or more layers, found only in mammals
olfaction- the sense of smell
olfactory bulb- a bulb-shaped brain structure derived from the telencephalon that receives input from olfactory receptor neurons
olfactory cleft- narrow cavity lying on each side of the nasal septum at the very top of the nose in which the olfactory membrane lies.
olfactory cortex- the region of the cerebral cortex connected to the olfactory bulb and separated from the neocortex by the rhinal fissure.
olfactory epithelium- a sheet of cells lining part of the nasal passages that contains olfactory receptors
proteins- a molecule constructed from amino acids according to genetic instructions
second messenger- a short lived chemical signal in the cytosol that can trigger a biochemical response. Second messenger formation is usually stimulated by a first messenger (a neurotransmitter or hormone) acting as a G-protein-coupled cell surface receptor.
thalamus- the dorsal part of the diencephalon, highly interconnected with the cerebral neocortex.
transduction- the transformation of sensory stimulus energy into a cellular signal, such as a receptor potential.
unmyelinated- lacking the membranous wrapping around axons provided by oligodendroglia in the CNS and Scwhwann cells in the PNS. Unmyelinated neurons are slower in the transduction of signals than myelinated neurons.
(Hompage) (Anatomy and Physiology of Smell) (Smell Disorders) (Smell and Attraction) (Smell and Memory) (Aromatherapy) (References) (Authors)