Sniff out danger

Most people – including scientists – assumed we can't just sniff out danger. It was thought that we become afraid of an odor – such as leaking gas – only after information about a scary scent is processed by our brain. But neuroscientists at Rutgers University studying the olfactory – sense of smell – system in mice have discovered that this fear reaction can occur at the sensory level, even before the brain has the opportunity to interpret that the odor could mean trouble.

— Read more at Sniffing out danger: Rutgers scientists say fearful memories can trigger heightened sense of smell at Science Codex.

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  1. rivercitylizzy says:

    One of the things I learned working with families caring for children that have suffered trauma was that scents are often powerful triggers of memory–positive or negative–and that removing a scent associated with trauma or introducing a comforting scent could have dramatic effects on a child’s behavior. Fascinating study!

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