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Piriform cortex



In anatomy of animals, the piriform cortex, or pyriform cortex is a region in the brain. The piriform cortex is part of the rhinencephalon situated in the telencephalon.

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The function of the piriform cortex relates to olfaction, which is the perception of smells. Sometimes called the olfactory cortex, olfactory lobe or paleopallium, piriform cortical regions are present in the brains of amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

The piriform cortex is among three areas that emerge in the telencephalon of amphibians, situated caudally to a dorsal area, which is caudal to a hippocampal area. Farther along the phylogenic timeline, the telencephalic bulb of reptiles as viewed in a cross section of the transverse plane extends with the archipallial hippocampus folding toward the midline and down as the dorsal area begins to form a recognizable cortex.

As mammallian cerebrums developed, volume of the dorsal cortex increased in slightly greater proportion, as compared proportionally with increased overall brain volume, until it enveloped the hippocampal regions. Recognized as neopallium or neocortex, enlarged dorsal areas envelop the paleopallial piriform cortex in humans and Old World monkeys.

Among taxonomic groupings of mammals, the piriform cortex and the olfactory bulb become proportionally smaller in the brains of phylogenically younger species. The piriform cortex occupies a greater proportion of the overall brain and of the telencephalic brains of insectivores than in primates. The piriform cortex continues to occupy a consistent albeit small and declining proportion of the increasingly large telencephalon in the most recent primate species while the volume of the olfactory bulb becomes less in proportion.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Piriform_cortex". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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