Odorants activate the human superior temporal sulcus

Neurosci Lett. 1996 Jan 19;203(2):143-5. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(95)12280-x.


The human olfactory pathways are well defined up to the level of the prepiriform cortex but the neocortical projections and their functional organization are still largely unknown. We recorded whole-scalp neuromagnetic signals to olfactory stimulation with boluses of phenylethyl alcohol, hydrogen sulphide, and vanillin. The main magnetic response peaked about 700 ms after the stimulus onset. The three odorants activated overlapping cortical areas around the superior temporal sulci of both hemispheres, revealing a neocortical area involved in olfactory processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzaldehydes
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odorants*
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*


  • Benzaldehydes
  • vanillin
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol
  • Hydrogen Sulfide