- Olfactory nerve
- The nerve that carries impulses for the sense of smell from the nose to the brain. The olfactory nerve is the first cranial nerve. The cranial nerves emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium), as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral column. There are twelve cranial nerves. The word "olfactory" comes from the Latin "olfactare", to sniff at and "olfacere", to smell.
* * *olfactory nerve n either of the pair of nerves that are the first cranial nerves, that serve to conduct sensory stimuli from the olfactory organ to the brain, and that arise from the olfactory cells as discrete bundles of unmyelinated fibers passing in small groups (in humans, about 20) through the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone and terminating in the olfactory bulb called also first cranial nerve
* * *the first cranial nerves (I): the special sensory nerve of smell. Fibres of the nerve run upwards from smell receptors in the nasal mucosa high in the roof of the nose, through minute holes in the skull, join to form the olfactory tract, and pass back to reach the brain.
* * *1. nervus olfactorius. 2. (in the pl.) fila olfactoria.
Medical dictionary. 2011.