Chapter

Olfactory Cortex

Donald A. Wilson and Edi Barkai

in Handbook of Brain Microcircuits

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195389883
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965137 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780195389883.003.0025
Olfactory Cortex

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The olfactory cortex is composed of several distinct subregions, the largest of which is the piriform cortex, a non-topographic, auto-associative archicortex. Although the piriform cortex anatomical structure is simple and well defined compared to neocortical structures, it performs higher brain functions like other associative cortices. While the piriform cortex is engaged in relatively basic functions like identifying familiar odors and discriminating between similar odors through pattern recognition, it also has a central role in complex tasks such as integration of information about the identity and the reward value of odors. Such a variegated capability is enabled by its intrinsic hardware, which resembles that seen in high neocortical areas, and the by efficient sets of connections with ascending and descending brain areas with which it generates synchronized activity.

Chapter.  3777 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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