Letter | Published:

Olfactory Relationships of the Diencephalon

Naturevolume 199pages710712 (1963) | Download Citation



THE dominant part played by olfaction in the behaviour of lower mammals has long been appreciated, but it is only comparatively recently that the underlying physiological mechanisms have begun to be elucidated. There is now a considerable body of evidence implicating certain of the accepted olfactory projection sites, such as the amygdala and the pyriform cortex in emotional and reproductive behaviour1,2, and more recent work has shown how directly the more peripheral parts of the olfactory pathway may regulate reproductive function3,4. It has generally been assumed that the anatomical link between the olfactory system and the hypothalamus is by way of the well-defined efferent pathway from the amygdala, the stria terminalis. However, in the past few years a number of experimental neuroanatomical studies have cast doubt on the essential place of the amygdala in the olfactory system, and have led us to re-examine the primary and secondary connexions of the olfactory bulb.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Bard, P., and Mountcastle, V. B., Res. Publ. Ass. Nero. Ment. Dis., 27, 362 (1948).

  2. 2

    Gloor, P., Handbook of Physiology, 2 (Amer. Physiol. Soc., Washington, D.C., 1960).

  3. 3

    Whitten, W. K., J. Endocrinol., 17, 307 (1958).

  4. 4

    Parkes, A. S., and Bruce, H. M., Science, 134, 1049 (1961).

  5. 5

    Cragg, B. G., Exp. Neurol., 3, 588 (1961).

  6. 6

    Sanders-Woudstra, J. A. R., thesis, University of Groningen (1961).

  7. 7

    Cowan, W. M., and Powell, T. P. S., J. Anat. (Lond.), 90, 188 (1956).

  8. 8

    Lundberg, O., Acta Physiol. Scand., 49, Supp. 171 (1960).

  9. 9

    Lammers, H. J., and Lohman, A. H. M., Ned. Tijdschr. Geneesk., 101, 602 (1957).

  10. 10

    Nauta, W. J. H., J. Anat. (Lond.), 95, 515 (1961).

  11. 11

    Guillery, R. W., J. Anat. (Lond.), 93, 403 (1959).

  12. 12

    Droogleever Fortuyn, J., Hiddema, F., and Sanders-Woudstra, J. A. R., Recent Neurological Research (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1949).

  13. 13

    Adey, W. R., and Meyer, M., Brain, 75, 358 (1952).

  14. 14

    Adey, W. R., Rudolph, A. F., Hine, I. F., and Harritt, N. J., J. Anat. (Lond.), 92, 219 (1958).

  15. 15

    Nauta, W. J. H., Brain, 81, 319 (1958).

  16. 16

    Shute, C. C. D., and Lewis, P. R., Bibl. Anat., 2, 34 (1961).

  17. 17

    Hilton, S. M., and Zbrozyma, A. W., J. Physiol., 165, 160 (1963).

  18. 18

    Harris, G. W., Handbook of Physiology, 2 (Amer. Physiol. Soc., Washington, D.C., 1960).

  19. 19

    Cragg, B. G., Exp. Neurol., 5, 406 (1962).

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Human Anatomy, University of Oxford

    • T. P. S. POWELL
    • , W. M. COWAN
    •  & G. RAISMAN


  1. Search for T. P. S. POWELL in:

  2. Search for W. M. COWAN in:

  3. Search for G. RAISMAN in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.