Richard Axel quotes
American - Scientist
Born: 2 Jul 1946
In humans, smell is often viewed as an aesthetic sense, as a sense capable of eliciting enduring thoughts and memories. Smell, however, is the primal sense. It is the sense that affords most organisms the ability to detect food, predators, and mates.
All animals exhibit innate behaviors in response to specific sensory stimuli that are likely to result from the activation of developmentally programmed circuits.
There are many ways for organisms to probe the external world. Some smell it, others listen to it, many see it. Each species, therefore, lives in its own unique sensory world of which other species may be partially or totally unaware.
The identification of a population of olfactory sensory neurons innervating a single glomerulus that mediates robust avoidance to a naturally occurring odorant provides insight in the neural circuitry that underlies this innate behavior.