Cranial Nerve I - Olfactory Nerve
Figure 7. Cranial Nerve I -Olfactory Nerve
The olfactory nerve originates as axons of the olfactory cells found in the nasal cavity just inferior to the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone. In fact, it is not a defined pair of nerves but numerous fiber fascicles that pass through the openings in the cribriform plate to reach an area that sits just superior to the plate known as the olfactory bulb where they terminate. This means these fibers are very short. This arrangement can be seen in Figure 7 above. Olfaction is the biologist’s word for the sense of smell so this, the shortest cranial nerve, carries only special sensory fibers for that specific sense.