Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sense of Smell and Memory (Amanda Stallard)

The strongest sense tied to memory is the sense of smell. Humans are able to recall smells with a 65% accuracy rate after one year.  This occurs because olfaction is handled by the same part of the brain as the limbic system which controls memories and emotions.  The strong emotional bond that is tied to our odor memories allows us to recognize and respond to smells that have been linked to positive or negative experiences.  Some odors cannot be identified by name but you can them to link a person, place, or thing.  This is why the olfactory system is considered to be an emotional time machine because it can transport you to a place that you have forgotten about. The average human is able to recognize approximately 10,000 different odors.  The odors can be either pleasant or unpleasant but it evokes different emotions or responses in each individual.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think we realize how much smell effects memory until it is brought to our attention. It comes so automatically that it doesn't seem like the memory is really smell related.