How the sense of smell works

Smell is our first response to dangers like fire and gas leaks. See more human senses pictures. Dreamstime Smell is often our first response to stimuli.

How the sense of smell works

The Sense of Smell: This article is about how the sense of smell works and how this powerful sense may impact programming in the field of deafblindness. You see, I had not thought about Lucy for years, much less that Lucy had been my favorite doll back when I was growing up in Spain.

Out of curiosity, I reached out for one of the dolls. Years later I recalled this incident when I learned that the part of the brain responsible for our sense of smell—the limbic system—is related to feelings and memory. How the sense of smell works The sense of smell, just like the sense of taste, is a chemical sense.

They are called chemical senses because they detect chemicals in the environment, with the difference being that smell works at dramatically larger distances than that of taste.

The process of smelling goes more or less like this: Vaporized odor molecules chemicals floating in the air reach the nostrils and dissolve in the mucus which is on the roof of each nostril. Underneath the mucus, in the olfactory epithelium, specialized receptor cells called olfactory receptor neurons detect the odor.

These neurons are capable of detecting thousands of different odors. The olfactory receptor neurons transmit the information to the olfactory bulbs, which are located at the back of the nose. The olfactory bulbs has sensory receptors that are actually part of the brain which send messages directly to: These brain centers perceive odors and access memories to remind us about people, places, or events associated with these olfactory sensations.

Other senses like touch and taste must travel through the body via neurons and the spinal cord before reaching the brain whereas the olfactory response is immediate, extending directly to the brain.

This is the only place where our central nervous system is directly exposed to the environment. As mentioned in the previous description of the olfactory process, the information captured by the sense of smell goes from the olfactory bulb to other structures of the limbic system.

The limbic system is a network of connected structures near the middle of the brain linked within the central nervous system. This system deals with instinctive or automatic behaviors, and has little, if anything, to do with conscious thought or will.

The Sense of Smell and the Limbic System

The limbic system is also concerned with translating sensory data from the neo-cortex the thinking brain into motivational forces for behavior.

Stimuli are processed conceptually in the cortex, and passed to the limbic system where they are evaluated and a motivational response is formulated. What does this has to do with our field? In the field of deaf-blindness, we have always known that many children who are deaf-blind have a very sensitive sense of smell to compensate for their limited use of vision and hearing.

Consequently, we have always said that the sense of smell plays a key role in this population for identifying people, places, objects and activities.

The following statements are heard frequently in this field: All of this is very valuable information.

How the sense of smell works

The sense of smell is a strong sense for identification purposes and can have a strong impact in your brain because it is such an integral part of it to the point that strong chemical smells can definitely elicit seizures.

Now we know that they are connected. Why is he having these behaviors? Could it be about something he smells? We definitely know we should be paying more attention to this environmental factor to see if and how this is affecting the child.Fun Facts about the Sense of Smell for Kids.

Your sense of smell—like your sense of taste—is part of your chemosensory system, or the chemical senses. Your ability to smell comes from specialized sensory cells, called olfactory sensory neurons, which are found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose. The sense of smell, just like the sense of taste, is a chemical sense. They are called chemical senses because they detect chemicals in the environment, with the difference being that smell works at dramatically larger distances than that of taste. Smell, like taste, is a chemical sense detected by sensory cells called chemoreceptors. When an odorant stimulates the chemoreceptors in the nose that detect smell, they pass on electrical impulses to the brain.

Two scientists, Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck, won the Nobel Prize in for their research on the nose and sense of smell.

How the sense of smell works

Check out this video about your nose and how it works: A video explaining the anatomy of the nose and its functions. Sense of Smell Q&A. Question: Why do I get nosebleeds? How the Sense of Smell Works Your sense of smell - like your sense of taste - is part of your chemosensory system, or the chemical senses.

Your ability to smell comes from specialized sensory cells, called olfactory sensory neurons, which are found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose. Your sense of smell—like your sense of taste—is part of your chemosensory system, or the chemical senses. Your ability to smell comes from specialized sensory cells, called olfactory sensory neurons, which are found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose.

Aug 17,  · If the sense of smell is impaired, by a stuffy nose for instance, perception of taste is usually dulled as well. Like taste, our sense of smell is also closely linked to our emotions. This is because both senses are connected to the involuntary nervous system.

That is why a bad taste or odor can bring about vomiting or nausea. Smell is a very direct sense. In order for you to smell something, molecules from that thing have to make it to your nose.

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Sense of Smell Facts for Kids