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Olfactory Nerve
Nervous System

Olfactory Nerve

Nervus olfactorius

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The olfactory nerves originate in the nasal mucosa. They are formed by the olfactory sensory neurons that merge into olfactory nerve bundles.


From the nasal mucosa, the olfactory nerves pass through the cribriform foramina of the ethmoid bone to reach the anterior cranial fossa. Here, the olfactory nerves enter the olfactory bulb.


There are no named branches.

Supplied Structures

The olfactory nerves are sensory and convey the sense of olfaction to the brain. Its main target is the primary olfactory cortex, located in the uncus and entorhinal cortex of the temporal lobe. Additional axons will target the amygdala and other parts of the limbic system.

List of Clinical Correlates


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Anatomy of the olfactory (CN I) and optic (CN II) nerves

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Anatomy of the olfactory (CN I) and optic (CN II) nerves Videos, Flashcards, High Yield Notes, & Practice Questions. Learn and reinforce your understanding of Anatomy of the olfactory (CN I) and optic (CN II) nerves.

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Olfactory Nerve

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both are dependent on the concerted activity of Hox genes and other transcriptional regulators in peripheral and central nervous system.

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