What is so special about smell? Olfaction as a model system in neurobiology

Postgraduate Medical Journal 92:27-33 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Neurobiology studies mechanisms of cell signalling. A key question is how cells recognise specific signals. In this context, olfaction has become an important experimental system over the past 25 years. The olfactory system responds to an array of structurally diverse stimuli. The discovery of the olfactory receptors (ORs), recognising these stimuli, established the olfactory pathway as part of a greater group of signalling mechanisms mediated by G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs are the largest protein family in the mammalian genome and involved in numerous fundamental physiological processes. The OR family exhibits two characteristics that make them an excellent model system to understand GPCRs: its size and the structural diversity of its members. Research on the OR binding site investigates what amino acid sequences determine the receptor-binding capacity. This promises a better understanding of how the basic genetic makeup of GPCRs relates to their diversification in ligand-binding capacities.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,466

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Stinking Consciousness!Benjamin D. Young - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (3-4):223-243.
Phenomenal and Access Consciousness in Olfaction.Richard J. Stevenson - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (4):1004-1017.
Sniffing and Smelling.Louise Richardson - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):401-419.
A Representational Account of Olfactory Experience.Clare Batty - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):511-538.
The Smell of Nature: Olfaction, Knowledge and the Environment.Daniel Press & Steven C. Minta - 2000 - Ethics, Place and Environment 3 (2):173 – 186.
The Contents of Olfactory Experience.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (11-12):173-79.
Future Directions for Rhodopsin Structure and Function Studies.Paul A. Hargrave - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (3):403-414.


Added to PP

25 (#459,695)

6 months
2 (#277,237)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ann-Sophie Barwich
Indiana University, Bloomington

References found in this work

Add more references