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What is the function of the cribriform plate?

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Quick Answer

The cribriform plate transmits small olfactory nerve fibers that carry the sense of smell. The plate is a thin bone with perforations at the roof of the nose.

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The cribriform plate is a component of the ethmoid bone that separates the nasal cavity from the brain, with the roofs of the eye sockets situated at the sides of the plate. The cribriform plate has a thin, narrow, sieve-like structure pierced with small holes. Several divisions of the olfactory nerve run through these tiny perforations. The nerve fibers come from the mucus membrane of the nose and provide humans with the sense of smell.

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