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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Mammalian olfaction is highly stereotyped. It consists of a sensory epithelium in the nose, where odorants are transduced to form neural signals. These neural signals are projected via the olfactory nerve to the olfactory bulb, where they generate spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity subserving odorant discrimination. This information is then projected via the olfactory tract to olfactory cortex, a neural substrate optimized for olfactory object perception. In contrast to popular notions, human olfaction is quite keen. Thus, systematic analysis of human olfactory perception has uncovered fundamental properties of mammalian olfactory processing, and mammalian olfaction explains fundamental properties of human behaviors such as eating, mating, and social interaction, which are all critical for survival.

Keywords: olfactory perception, olfaction, behavior, odorant, olfactory epithelium, olfactory discrimination, piriform cortex, eating, mating, social interaction

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