Thalamocortical Mechanisms and Smell: Insight from Amnesia

  • Robert G. Mair


In 1963, Powell, Cowan, and Raisman described a pathway from the pyriform lobe to the mediodorsal nucleus (MDn) of the thalamus. Although previous reports had provided evidence of direct olfactory projections to frontal neocortex in dogs and rabbits (cf. Allison, 1953), this report revolutionized thinking about central olfactory processes by emphasizing the importance of thalamocortical projections in olfaction. Powell et al. (1963), pg. 712, states:

“First, it shows that the thalamus is related to the olfactory system in much the same way as it is to other sensory pathways, and from this it follows that part, at least, of the orbitofrontal area of the cortex may be thought of as a sensory projection field for olfaction - - although clearly not in the same way as the primary sensory areas.”


Retention Interval Thiamine Deficiency Mammillary Body Thalamic Lesion Medial Thalamus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert G. Mair
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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