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Which of the following correctly describes the olfactory sensory pathway? Select one:

a. Olfactory cells → olfactory bulb → sensory neurons → cerebrum
b. Sensory receptors → olfactory bulb → sensory neurons → temporal lobe
c. Sensory receptors → sensory neurons → olfactory bulb → cerebrum
d. Olfactory cells → sensory neurons → olfactory bulb → occipital lobe

4 years ago

Answered By Armin K

So they put a lot of tricks into this question. The use of specific words is very key to answering this question, which is specifically about the pathway.

Before looking at the first part of each line we can look at the end step. Right off the bat, if we know the general parts of the brain and the senses they correspond to we can eliminate d) and b). Temporal lobe corresponds to hearing, and occipital lobe goes with sight.

This leaves us a) and c)

In the first part we have Olfactory cells vs Sensory Receptors. For one thing the use of olfactory is very deliberate, however it just states cell, vs Sensory receptor which we know as generally the first part of a sense sequence. 

For a) it goes olfactory cells, olfactory bulb, sensory neurons and then the cerbrum. The olfactory bulb is a large nerve structure between the brain and the nose, for the pathway to go from the nose, to this structure to the sensory neurons makes no sense step wise and the sensory neurons should be nearer to the start. 

For c) it goes sensory receptors, sensory neurons, and then olfactory bulb. This is already more specific then a) as it starts with the receptors, which should be part of the sensory neuron. The sensory neuron being before the bulb also makes sense, before reaching the brain.

The best answer and most correct is c