Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Our Sense of Smell is Better Than We Think (4th Post for Research)

After learning about our sense of smell, I came across an article discussing the myths about the strength of our smell. It is commonly believed that humans do not have great senses of smell compared to our other senses and compared to the strong senses of smells by other mammals. However, John McGann, a psychology professor at Rutgers University, says that this is actually not true. He says that humans have just about the same number of neurons in their olfactory bulbs as mice, capybaras and star-nosed moles, meaning our sense of smell is not much worse. Some studies and experiments suggest that we may not be proficient in all smells or as many as other mammals, but we are certainly proficient in perceiving certain smells. For instance, smells associated with food are very easy for us to perceive. We are also better than mice at detecting a smelly compound found in human blood. Humans even have the ability to detect people's feelings by odor, which may influence their own feelings. For example, people who sense someone else's anxious odor may themselves become stressed. It is actually amazing what our sense of smell can accomplish, especially in combination with our other senses. 

Link to article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/05/11/your-sense-of-smell-is-more-powerful-than-you-think/?utm_term=.2d00b0e3ed92


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