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Olfactory tract

Recommended video: Olfactory nerve [16:16]
Course of the olfactory nerve viewed from the left side of a parasagittal section.

The olfactory tract is a bundle of axons of secondary neurons that project from the olfactory bulbs rostrally, to the primary olfactory cortex located in the temporal lobe of the cerebrum. It attaches directly to the base of the cerebral hemisphere, within the olfactory sulcus and lateral to the region of the orbitofrontal cortex known as gyrus rectus.

The olfactory tract along with the olfactory nerves, olfactory bulb, olfactory striae and olfactory cortex in the cerebrum form the olfactory pathway which is responsible for the perception of the special sense of smell. 

As it runs posteriorly, each olfactory tract flattens out forming a triangular widening called the olfactory trigone, close to the anterior perforated substance. This terminal region of the olfactory tract gives rise to two distinct fiber bands, the medial and lateral olfactory striae, which ultimately terminate in the anterior aspect of the temporal lobe called the piriform cortex, the entorhinal cortex and the amygdala.

Terminology English: Olfactory tract
Synonym: Olfactory stalk

Tractus olfactorius
Definition Bundle of axons that project from the olfactory bulb to the primary olfactory cortex
Function Special sense of smell - transmission of olfactory information

Learn more about the olfactory tract and other structures of the olfactory pathway in the following study unit:

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