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Running head: WEEK 7 FINAL PAPER2 1 Week 7 Final Paper2 Shelby Minahan American Public University Perception and Sensation PSYC304 Professor Curtin March 20, 2020
WEEK 7 FINAL PAPER2 2 Week 7 Final Paper2 Abstract This paper will discuss the functions of the olfactory system and the ability to perceive odorants and the sense of smell. In everyday life the sense of smell is one of the more important senses, it can help a person determine if something is burning or if something is bad or expired in terms of food. When looking at all the senses it would appear that people rank the sense of smell under vision and hearing in everyday situations but the sense of smell is sometimes the first line of defense when you can’t see something or hear it, smell is often the first response we have to stimuli in the area. Introduction There are several parts to our olfactory system, and they all work together, allowing us to sense and recognize different odors in the area. First are cells called chemoreceptors detect odors in the air and pass the impulse to the brain. When the brain processes the patterns of smell and the outside odor is interpreted thus why we are able to recognize certain smells. The odors we receive can either warn us of danger or make us remember something from our pasts. It can also make us hungry or help us not to eat something bad. Structure The olfactory system is a very complex one and has several parts that help with our sense of smell. In the first step of this process to perceive odors we begin with the nostrils and the final step will happen in the brain. The nasal cavity, located inside the nasal passages, are the mucus membranes. The way the nose is structured allows for the nasal cavity to aid in intensifying smells, containing grooves to help with better air circulation and intensifying of smells.
WEEK 7 FINAL PAPER2 3 The mucus membrane is responsible for the perception of smells also contained in the nasal cavity are olfactory receptors. Each receptor has a sensitivity to certain chemicals or groups of chemicals. When the chemical stimuli are received these receptors start to fire and send signals to the olfactory bulb. The location of the olfactory bulb is at the end of the olfactory

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