JERUSALEM (Rahnuma): Israeli researchers have solved the mystery of how smell information passes from one side of the brain to the other, which can help treat epilepsy, as published on Tuesday by the Hebrew-language newspaper “Haaretz.”
So far, smell has been the only sense that has not yet been deciphered. The researchers from Bar-Ilan University in central Israel succeeded in drawing the smell “road map” for the first time.
Maps representing each sense, except smell, have been known for many years. Each such map accurately represents how sensory information is absorbed.
For example, if the eyes identify a house and a tree next to it, the cells that act in response to the picture of the house will be located near the cells that will respond to the picture of the tree.
According to the current study, the orderly arrangement and transmission of information on both sides of the brain take place at an early stage of receiving information in a brain area called the “olfactory bulb,” just behind the nasal cavity.
The olfactory bulb transforms the sensory signal of the chemicals absorbed in the nose into electrical messages that transmit through the neurons in the brain.
The researchers showed that this area of the brain is arranged in a coordinated manner for both nostrils and lobes in the brain.
If a scent is absorbed into a single nostril, its representation will appear on the side of the olfactory bulb that is attached to it and transferred to the lobe that is responsible for this side of the body.
It turns out that if a smell enters one side and activates a group of cells on one side, the same cells will activate their “friends” cells on the other side accurately.
These findings may be helpful in the study of epilepsy, a disorder related to problems in transmitting information between areas of the brain and between its two lobes. A better understanding of how this communication can help in dealing with the disease.