smell cell


indiblogger smellAmbipur wants us to think of smells and the memories that go with it,

It could be the smell of hay reminding me of the cattle shed and the cows that were there at Grandpa Yeccha’s place in Bailoor.

The linger smell of sandalwood of grandma Parwati’s sari.

The floral fragrance of doddakaka’s hair oil.

Phenyl odor of the hospital wards, the saprophytic odor as we drive through the woods, there are so many,

What makes us, aware of this smell, what triggers the memories? Smell one of the five senses, how unacknowledged it is.

Smell works through detection of chemical sense by sensory cells called chemo-receptors.  The odor stimulates the chemoreceptor’s to detect the smell à from there they pass on electrical impulses to the brain à  the brain interprets patterns in electrical activity as specific odors and olfactory sensation becomes a perception. Something we recognize as smell. The olfactory bulb in the brain which sorts sensation into perception is part of the limbic system. It links to the emotional centre which in turn links to memories, feeling and emotional recognition. So smells can bring a flood of memory, alter moods and even effect work performance.

In the animal species, recognition occurs by the chemical signals released by the organisms to communicate with other members of their species; these chemical signals are called pheromones.

Most fragrance marketers use scents to set a mood, and sell their products along the lines of aromatherapy that uses fragrances to promote health.

The nature of energy transduction or the sensory process is simple. It is called the olfactory pathway.

The odors reach the receptors in the epithelial cells of the nose. The odor molecule reaches the protein in particular. The nerves associated get activated and send the information of being stimulated to the brain’s olfactory bulbs. The olfactory sense is more evolved than other senses as it goes directly to the olfactory bulbs instead of being relayed through the thalamus.

Some anatomic structures in path of smell—the olfactory epithelium, in the mucus of the nose where the mucus is formed, the volatile chemical substances are the stimuli that can evaporate and be carried with the air, mucus dissolves these stimuli. Then are the olfactory Cilia or the nose hair, these are the receptors for smell. These hairs like structures in the upper portion of the nasal pathway are constantly replaced. Olfactory bulb route the neural impulses and send it to the olfactory cortex. The temporal lobe, which houses the olfactory cortex. Smell is the only sensory input that is not routed through the thalamus.

The loss of smell and taste occurs with age, genetics, tobacco smoking, respiratory or sinus infections.

Smell disorders are not given lot of importance. People who experience smell disorders either have a loss in their ability to smell or have changes in the way they perceive odors.  All the same some common ones are hyposmia or reduced ability to detect odors. Anosmia inability to detect odors at all.

Smell is a chemical impulse, where the receptors respond to odors’ and aromas, the sense of taste depends on the sense of smell. The sense of taste or gestation is the interaction between our chemical senses, the four –There are four basic tastes that are associated with smell.  The sweet, sour, salty and bitter. However recent research has revealed a fifth taste called the umami associated with monosodium glutamate. Flavor is the combination of senses. Particularly the taste and smell. So impaired smell also results in impaired taste identification.

The complicated process of smelling and tasting begins when molecules released by the substances around us, stimulate special nerve cells in the nose, mouth or throat. These cells transmit messages to the brain, where specific smell or tastes are identified. Both olfaction and gestation depend upon a dissolved sample of chemical compound fitting into a receptor cell, unromantically like a key fits into a lock. Most flavors are recognized by their smells. The cells of the nervous system to replaced when aged or damaged are the olfactory and gestation cells.

written for Indiblogger Ambipur


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