Download Learning to Smell: Olfactory Perception from Neurobiology to by Donald A. Wilson PDF

By Donald A. Wilson

Written through a neurobiologist and a psychologist, this quantity offers a brand new concept of olfactory belief. Drawing on learn in neuroscience, body structure, and ethology, Donald A. Wilson and Richard J. Stevenson handle the basic query of ways we navigate via a global of chemical encounters and supply a compelling replacement to the "reception-centric" view of olfaction. the foremost study problem in olfaction is figuring out how the mind discriminates one odor from one other. right here, the authors carry that olfaction is usually no longer an easy physiochemical strategy, yet really a plastic approach that's strongly tied to reminiscence. They locate the normal method -- which includes making a choice on how specific positive aspects of a chemical stimulus are represented within the olfactory approach -- to be at odds with historic information and with a starting to be physique of neurobiological and mental proof that locations basic emphasis on artificial processing and experiential components. Wilson and Stevenson suggest that have and cortical plasticity not just are vital for normal associative olfactory reminiscence but in addition play a serious, defining position in scent conception and that present perspectives are inadequate to account for present and earlier information. The e-book contains a large comparative review of the constitution and serve as of olfactory platforms, an exploration into the mechanisms of scent detection and olfactory conception, and a dialogue of the results of the authors' concept. studying to sniff will function an immense reference for staff in the box of chemical senses and people attracted to sensory processing and belief. (July 2006)

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Additional resources for Learning to Smell: Olfactory Perception from Neurobiology to Behavior

Sample text

As with an exploration of the nature of the stimulus, exploring olfactory system circuit anatomy can help identify possible mechanistic opportunities and constraints on circuit function and its output. However, before we begin our overview of odors and olfactory functional anatomy, we will briefly perform a similar analysis of a comparator system —the visual system. We could have chosen other sensory systems, but the vi- sual system is probably the best understood by the most people and thus should be most useful for our purposes.

We could have chosen other sensory systems, but the vi- sual system is probably the best understood by the most people and thus should be most useful for our purposes. We will not deliver a detailed, nuanced description of the mammalian visual system; instead, we will identify critical functional components that we can then try to find analogies for in olfaction. The Visual System At one level, of course, the stimulus driving the visual system is electromagnetic radiation within a specific range of wavelengths and varying in intensity.

For example, familiar odor objects can include “sweet” components (Stevenson, Prescott, and Boakes 1995). Finally, inclusion of memory in olfactory object perception raises the importance of top-down processing in this system. We hypothesize that, as in vision and other sensory systems, expectation and internal behavioral state can influence odor perception. Odor object percepts, therefore, may not only include multiple odorant features and multi-modal components, but also may be guided by past associations, expectations, verbal labels, etc.

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