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Q: why does a fish market at first seem to have a strong odor that in time becomes less offensive?
A: The response of receptor cells to odorants is, like other neuronal cells, variable depending on the conditions. [ There may not be enough of the odorant to stimulate an action potential; scavenger enzymes in the mucus layer may breakdown the odorant particles before they have a chance to bind to the receptor; or the receptor activation may cause an alternative signalling pathway to operate,
preventing depolarisation. Even if a receptor does depolarise, it will eventually become adapted to the presence of the odorant and stop reacting to it. This is why, on encountering a strong smell that initially overwhelms you, after a few minutes you will fail to notice it any more. However, if you were to suddenly take a sharp intake of breath, you'd become aware of the smell again; the action of suddenly inhaling odorant-laden air exposes more of the olfactory epithelium to a greater amount of stimulus, which results in more action potentials. Source: ]
Mayang30|Points 454|
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Asked 10/14/2012 7:06:14 PM
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