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CN I

Number (1) Brainstem Foam-finger
Picmonic
Cranial nerve I is a special sensory nerve that is responsible for smell. It travels through the olfactory tract and bulb and exits through the foramina in the cribiform plate of the ethmoid bone.
3 KEY FACTS
Olfactory Nerve
The Ol' Factory

Cranial nerve I is known as the olfactory nerve, originating in olfactory cells and terminating in the olfactory bulb.

Sensory
Sensor

Cranial nerve I is classified as a special sensory nerve.

Smell
Smelly-fumes

Smell is the main function of cranial nerve I, and it is the only cranial nerve with no thalamic relay to the cortex. Olfactory receptor neurons within the olfactory nerve extend axons to the olfactory bulb. These G-protein coupled receptors are located within the upper nasal cavity and can detect thousands of different odorants.

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