Yale- Cranial Nerve 1, pg. 6 Page header & navigation buttons.

Chapter contents


Olfactory epithelium

Sensory transduction &
Peripheral course

Central course


Major projections
Cranial Nerve I - Olfactory Nerve Page 6 of 6

Major projections of the olfactory areas

All three olfactory areas interface with various autonomic centers via a complex communications network.

The principal pathways include:
Medial forebrain bundle - provides information from all three olfactory areas to the hypothalamus.

Stria medullaris - carries olfactory information from the rhinencephalon to the habenular nucleus.

Stria terminalis - carries information from the amygdala to the anterior hypothalamus and preoptic area of the cortex.

From the hypothalamus and habenular nucleus information is sent to the reticular formation and various cranial nerve nuclei involved in visceral responses. Examples include the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus which mediates nausea, gastric motility and secretion, and intestinal peristalsis and the superior and inferior salivatory nuclei which mediate salivation.

Figure 1-6. Major projections of the olfactory areas.

Overview diagram of Olfactory Nerve.

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Last revised: March 22, 1998