The olfactory system is much less studies compared to the visual and auditory systems. An added difficulty for those studies investigating how the olfactory system works or how it is affected in certain disorders comes from the fact that no accurate templates of the olfactory exist. Especially when using neuroimaging techniques, this could pose a major problem. There are some templates, but they are not always compatible with what we know from anatomical studies. For example some functional templates include secondary regions of the olfactory system in addition to the primary olfactory cortices. In this paper, the authors propose a new template for the primary olfactory cortex (POC).
In this recent study multiple templates are compared and a single comprehensive template is created that can be used in both functional and structural neuroimaging studies. Using this new template, it should be possible to more accurately investigate the olfactory system in combination with neuroimaging. Furthermore, this study shows the exact connectivity patterns from the olfactory cortex and which part of the POC is connected to which higher order processing areas in the brain. In short, this study provides a new way to fully characterise the olfactory network and could be used as a diagnostic tool or biomarker in olfactory disorders.