When we smell an agarbatti (incense stick), odor molecules released into the air reach the nostrils and dissolve in the mucus within. These molecules stimulate olfactory receptors in the olfactory epithelium. The receptors send signals to the brain’s olfactory bulb, which interprets these signals as the distinct fragrance of the incense.

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Detection of Incense Fragrance: The Initial Encounter

When an agarbatti (incense stick) is lit, it releases a variety of aromatic compounds into the air. These compounds, in the form of tiny odor molecules, begin their journey towards our olfactory system as the incense burns. The process of detecting the smell starts when these molecules are inhaled and enter the nasal passages.

Interaction with Olfactory Epithelium

Inside the nasal cavity, these odor molecules dissolve in the mucus lining the olfactory epithelium, a small patch of tissue at the base of the nasal cavity. This epithelium is packed with millions of olfactory receptors, which are specialized sensory cells. Each receptor is equipped to detect certain types of odor molecules.

Activation of Olfactory Receptors

When an odor molecule binds to its corresponding receptor, it triggers a biochemical reaction. This reaction generates a nerve impulse in the olfactory receptor cells. Each type of odor molecule has a unique shape and set of chemical properties, allowing our olfactory system to distinguish a wide range of different smells, including the distinct fragrance of an agarbatti.

Transmission of Signals to the Brain

These nerve impulses are then transmitted to the olfactory bulb, a structure located just above the nasal cavity and below the frontal lobe of the brain. The olfactory bulb acts as a relay station, processing the signals and then sending them to various regions of the brain, including the olfactory cortex, the limbic system, and other areas responsible for perception and identification of smells.

Perception and Recognition of the Fragrance

In these brain regions, the signals are interpreted as a specific smell. The unique fragrance of the agarbatti, with its complex blend of scents, is recognized and often associated with memories or emotions. This entire process, from the inhalation of odor molecules to their recognition in the brain, happens almost instantaneously, allowing us to enjoy and identify the aroma of the incense stick.

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List of Questions of Class 10 Science Chapter 6

What is the difference between a reflex action and walking?
What happens at the synapse between two neurons?
Which part of the brain maintains posture and equilibrium of the body?
How do we detect the smell of an Agarbatti (Incense Stick)?
What is the role of the brain in reflex action?
What are plant hormones?
How is the movement of leaves of the sensitive plant different from the movement of a shoot towards light?
Give an example of a plant hormone that promotes growth.
How do auxins promote the growth of a tendril around a support?
Design an experiment to demonstrate hydrotropism.
How does chemical coordination take place in animals?
Why is the use of iodised salt advisable?
How does our body respond when adrenaline is secreted into the blood?
Why are some patients of diabetes treated by giving injections of insulin?
What is the function of receptors in our body?
Draw the structure of a neuron and explain its function.
How does phototropism occur in plants?
Which signals will get disrupted in case of a spinal cord injury?
How does chemical coordination occur in plants?
What is the need for a system of control and coordination in an organism?
How are involuntary actions and reflex actions different from each other?
Compare and contrast nervous and hormonal mechanisms for control and coordination in animals.
What is the difference between the manner in which movement takes place in a sensitive plant and the movement in our legs?