Odorant-induced and sniff-induced activation in the cerebellum of the human

Noam Sobel, Vivek Prabhakaran, Catherine A. Hartley, John E. Desmond, Zuo Zhao, Gary H. Glover, John D.E. Gabrieli, Edith V. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to test whether odorants induce activation in the cerebellum of the human. The odorants vanillin and propionic acid both induced significant activation, primarily in the posterior lateral hemispheres. Activation was concentration-dependent, greater after stimulation with higher concentration odorants. By contrast, the action of sniffing nonodorized air induced significant activation in the anterior cerebellum, primarily in the central lobule. These findings demonstrate that the cerebellum plays a role in human olfaction. A hypothesis is proposed whereby the cerebellum maintains a feedback mechanism that regulates sniff volume in relation to odor concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8990-9001
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 1998



  • Cerebellum
  • Human
  • Odor
  • Olfaction
  • Smell
  • Sniffing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Sobel, N., Prabhakaran, V., Hartley, C. A., Desmond, J. E., Zhao, Z., Glover, G. H., Gabrieli, J. D. E., & Sullivan, E. V. (1998). Odorant-induced and sniff-induced activation in the cerebellum of the human. Journal of Neuroscience, 18(21), 8990-9001.