• Detection of chemicals in the air by the many different olfactory receptors
Olfaction is the ability to detect airborne chemicals (odorants) as scents or smells
- At the back of the nasal cavity is a patch of tissue called the olfactory epithelium, which is embedded with chemoreceptors
- The olfactory epithelium is lined with mucus, in which odorant molecules will dissolve before binding to the chemoreceptors
- Binding of an odorant molecule will trigger a nerve impulse, which is transferred via the olfactory bulb to the brain
- The combination of olfactory receptors activated determines the specific scent perceived by the brain
Ted Talks – How Do We Smell?