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NOSE-SENSE! - In Summation

The dog’s sense of smell is superior in both structure and ability to differentiate as opposed to humans and other animals. The reasoning behind this is that man is able to utilize the dog’s sense of smell for his own survival by training canines to serve as detection dogs. However, as with most species the dog’s ability to smell is not primarily to ‘serve’ humans but for environmental survival. The position and size of the olfactory bulb enables the dog to quickly gather information. (Eileen K. Jenkins, 2018)


In 2018 Frontiers in Veterinary Science (USA) examined further the process from the detection within the nasal passages to the olfactory and beyond. They determined that the olfactory bulb is a paired structure. It functions as a relay station to filter sensory input, (Eileen K. Jenkins, 2018). They also discovered,


There are approximately 1,000 ORC axons per second-order neuron, resulting in significant amplification of the odor signal. The mitral cells of the olfactory bulb project one primary dendrite to one glomerulus, and one axon to the olfactory cortex. The olfactory bulb is located under the frontal lobes, above the cribriform plate in humans, but is located more rostrally in other mammals, which may play a role in improved smell in lower mammals” (Eileen K. Jenkins, 2018).


The olfactory cortex is located within the medial temporal loves and communicates directly with the cerebral cortex. The olfactory cortex does the following:

  • Receives sensory input from the olfactory bulb

  • · It permits conscious awareness of odor

  • · It identifies the odor from memory (Eileen K. Jenkins, 2018)

Therefore, the team determined the following:


“The olfactory bulb has both a sensory role (initial processing of olfactory information) and a modulatory role in the forebrain, hypothalamus, and limbic system. The olfactory pathway of canines…” (Eileen K. Jenkins, 2018)

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