Olfaction is involved intimately in two of the most basic functions of animals: food intake and reproduction. There are also many other involvements of olfaction in animal behavior, not the least being communication. The authors of this volume have collected and evaluated the comparative anatomy, electron microscopy, electrophysiology, genetics, psychology, chemistry, and biophysics of the olfactory system and then indicated their roles in animal behavior. The importance of olfaction in the everyday life of an animal is just being realized fully and recent years have brought forth a great surge of research in this area. The diverse dis- ciplines that contribute to our understanding of olfaction make the development of this volume rewarding for those working in this field. The olfactory system's very high sensitivity and its great power of molecular discrimination interests many chemists and physicists. Data from the study of both vertebrates and insects show that only one molecule of certain odors is necessary to stimulate a single olfactory receptor! The underlying physicochemical events are not yet understood.
Also, many mammals can discriminate quickly the difference between two odors of similar structure. Thus the olfactory epithelium and the more centrally located neural components present the ultimate in chemical detection and analysis by a biological system. The principles involved are probably common to those of many other organs.
1 Anatomy of Nasal Structures from a Comparative Viewpoint.- 2 The Olfactory Mucosa of Vertebrates.- 3 The Olfactory Pigment.- 4 Degeneration and Regeneration of the Olfactory Epithelium.- 5 The Electro-Olfactogram.- 6 Neural Coding in Olfactory Receptor Cells.- 7 Nonolfactory Responses from the Nasal Cavity: Jacobson's Organ and the Trigeminal System.- 8 Structure and Function of Higher Olfactory Centers.- 9 Spatial and Temporal Patterning.- 10 Olfactory Psychophysics.- 11 Olfactory Genetics and Anosmia.- 12 Olfactory Response and Molecular Structure.- 13 Olfactory Theories.- 14 Insect Olfaction.- 15 Olfaction in Birds.- 16 The Use of Ionizing Rays as a Mammalian Olfactory Stimulus.- 17 Olfaction and Nutrition.- Author Index.
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