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The Olfactory System. By: Stewart Diaz. Function. The olfactory system is pretty much the system you use to detect odor. The mechanism the system uses is can be divided into a peripheral part and a central part.

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the olfactory system

The Olfactory System

By: Stewart Diaz

  • The olfactory system is pretty much the system you use to detect odor. The mechanism the system uses is can be divided into a peripheral part and a central part.
  • The peripheral part is used to sense an odor and encode it in a neuron, while the central part the neuron is processed in the central nervous system.
  • The olfactory bulb, which sends those signals to the brain is part of the peripheral section of the Olfactory System. Epithelium, which is part of the central section collects chemical signals.

Your nose is very sensitive since you can smell millions of tiny particles. The Olfactory System is able to detect over 10,000 types of odors, and your sense of smell is able to distinguish poisonous odors. For example smoke bothers your sense of smell and can kill you. But there are also things that you can not smell that are really poisonous, for example carbon monoxide, which you can’t smell but can also kill you.

  • Your sense of smell is a chemo sense, meaning that it can detect chemical substances. As you inhale millions of particles flow into your nasal chamber and like a key hole, if the correct odor molecule matches on the correct receptor an electrical signal is sent to the Olfactory Bulb, which codes for what it is and then sends it to your brain.

The Olfactory Bulb is the part of the Olfactory System that sends what it is you smell to the brain. The first part of the system to detect odors the cilia, if an odor matches the cilia, an electrical surge is sent from the Olfactory Receptor to the Synapes. This current goes through the process in which the current goes through the Glomerutus which is what codes the surge what odor it is and then to the Mitral Cell here the coded signal is sent through the Axons, which is what connects the Cerebral Cortex to the Olfactory Bulb. The coded current is sent to the Cerebral Cortex, which is the place where your memories of odor are which is why you know what it is your smelling.

diseases problems
  • Your sense of smell deteriorates along with age, so a teenager’s sense of smell is many times better than 50 year old man’s sense of smell. One type of disorder is called Anosmia is loss of sense of smell, which can be caused by head trauma ,inhaling very toxic fumes or by inflammation of the nasal mucosa. The in inflammation can also be caused by Meningitis. Another condition is called Phantosmia, which is smelling foul odors when there is nothing there, or a phantom odor. There is no known cure for either disorder, but Prophylactic is a suggestion for Phantosomia. Unfortunately, more research is needed to confirm the use. Another treatment is rinsing the nose with saline water, which is using salt water to unclog your sinuses.
hypersomnia a heightened sense
Hypersomnia…a heightened sense
  • Hyperosmia, is a disorder where your sense of smell is heightened. Some of the bad things about having this disease are that smelling unpleasant things may be more of a problem than when you first smelled them. It’s almost like having a dog’s nose! You are able to smell things that are farther away. Some good thing are that if you can smell farther away you can smell danger and get away from it.
treatments cures
  • There are really no cures for any of the disorders, but there are treatments. Prophylactic, the preventing of a disorder, has been a suggestion for many of these disorders, but more research has to be done which means more testing and more time.
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