Perceptual Performance in Peripherally Reduced Olfactory Systems

  • R. Hudson
  • H. Distel
  • H. P. Zippel
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 39)


The relationship between structure and function is one of the enduring themes of biology, and one which has greatly influenced efforts to understand the neural basis of odour perception. In attempting to answer such basic questions as how odour signals are transmitted and coded, neurobiologists have repeatedly turned to the anatomical organization of the peripheral olfactory system for clues. Cajal was among the first to be impressed by the clear structural organization of the olfactory bulb, an impression of order which was later enhanced by reports that the receptor cells within the nasal cavity project to the bulb in a broadly topological fashion, and that groups of receptor axons then appear to converge onto discrete glomerular units (Kauer, 1987). Not surprisingly, this attractive picture of anatomical orderliness has come to dominate the way we think about olfactory function, and most attempts to explain how odour stimuli are perceived now make reference to some form of primary spatial coding (Shepherd, 1985).


Olfactory Bulb Olfactory System Olfactory Function Olfactory Nerve Amyl Acetate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Hudson
    • 1
  • H. Distel
    • 1
  • H. P. Zippel
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Medizinische PsychologieUniversität MünchenMünchen 2Germany
  2. 2.Physiologisches Institut der UniversitätGöttingenGermany

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