The Power of Scent

A favorable scent goes a long way. Want to boost your mood or stir up old memories? Try using your nose. And, most important, scent can even drive one to romantic distraction. Just think about your partner's pajamas. Indeed, the nose can suss out something as complex as sexual compatibility.

Recent posts on Scent

Sensory Marketing; The Smell of Cinnamon That Made Me Buy

While we like to think that we know why we make the decisions we make, we are in fact controlled by hidden biological forces more than we would like to admit.

Love at First Sniff?

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on January 16, 2017 in Attraction, Evolved
Humans are a predominantly visual species, but we also use our noses to sniff out prospective mates.

Do Vegetarians Smell Sexier?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on January 09, 2017 in Animals and Us
New studies reveal that diet affects human body odor and even our skin color. But do men who give up meat smell more or less attractive to women?

Acute Stress May Block a Key Anxiety-Relieving Neuropeptide

By Christopher Bergland on January 04, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
What causes stress-induced anxiety and PTSD to spiral out of control? New research suggests the answer may lie in a mysterious self-produced molecule called "neuropeptide Y."

Why Do Dogs Have Tails?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on November 24, 2016 in Canine Corner
The dog's tail is not simply a signal flag conveying his mood. It has some other important purposes.
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The Smell of a Hallway Taught Me Something Important

By Gretchen Rubin on November 14, 2016 in The Happiness Project
For some reason, this hallway smelled exactly like the hospital where I worked as a candy-striper in high school.

Is There a Physical Basis to the Notion of "Spirit"?

By Liane Gabora Ph.D. on October 26, 2016 in Mindbloggling
The feeling bears leave you with has little to do with how smart they are, or their demeanor. It’s more a sense of the essential life force they emanate from, corny as that sounds.

"I Feel Your Pain" (Literally)

In 1992, Bill Clinton said to a protester at a campaign rally, "I feel your pain." New research indicates that the now famous expression might not just be a figure of speech.
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Are You Ready for a New Taste?

Do pizza lovers know something we don't? Or is imagination the real limit of taste?

One-Two Punch of "Cue and Reward" Makes Exercise a Habit

By Christopher Bergland on September 15, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Do you have trouble sticking with an exercise routine? If so, a new study has identified a simple one-two punch that improves your odds of making exercise a daily habit you enjoy.

Thinking About Our Senses

It's becoming clear we do more than see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.

Music Enhances Beer's Flavor

Listening to music we love can make whatever we're drinking taste much more delicious.

Which Way Will Prince’s Death Lead Us in the Opioid Fight?

Common sense and compassion in dealing with addiction can be hard to find, but the defeat of punitive fentanyl legislation offers hope.

Men's Self-Esteem Boosted by Female Pheromone

Are men flummoxed by the scent of a sexy woman? Scientists at Rutgers University made men sniff female pheromones to find out.

"Stone's Blood:" The Sweet Smell of Summer Rain

Is semantic ignorance olfactory bliss? Familiar smells can evoke powerful memories, but they pack a particularly powerful punch when we don't know where they're coming from.

There Are 5 Better Ways to Eat, and You Can Start Today

By Susan Albers Psy.D. on May 26, 2016 in Comfort Cravings
Start incorporating mindful eating into your life by engaging each of your five senses in a unique way.

The Neuroscience of How We Intentionally Forget Experiences

Researchers at Dartmouth College have pinpointed how we remember, and forget, both good and bad memories.

Six Aromatherapy Essential Oils for Stress Relief and Sleep

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on April 28, 2016 in Urban Survival
What essential oils are best for R&R? Find out the top 6 relaxing essential oils for aromatherpy.

It's What Online Dating Can't Tell You

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on April 06, 2016 in Love, Digitally
You can learn a lot from a person's odour.

Have You Read Your Body Lately?

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on March 26, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
It's spring. When the seasons hum, we resonate. It’s how we’re built. But much of the information is deeply embedded in culture and beyond everyday awareness. Let's tune in.

Lois DeVries on the Transformational Power of Gardening

The future of mental health interview series continues with Lois DeVries on the transformational power of gardening.

Eproctophilia Explained

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on February 17, 2016 in In Excess
Olfactophilia is a paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual arousal from odours such as eproctophilia (sexual arousal from flatulence). But what is known about this behavior?

The Mysterious Connection Between Smell and Our Past

Have you ever caught a whiff of something that transported you back in time, but you could never figure out what point in time it transported you to? There’s a reason for that.

Music, Smell, and Holiday Shopping

By Kimberly Sena Moore Ph.D. on December 23, 2015 in Your Musical Self
Does it feel like you hear holiday music too early in stores? Research helps explain why.
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Calling Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, YouTube

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on November 23, 2015 in Just Listen
If extremists can use technology and the Internet to spread fear and terror, perhaps tech and Internet companies can pull people together to create an "iron dome" solidarity to counter those.

Eating Garlic Makes Men Smell More Attractive

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on November 12, 2015 in Attraction, Evolved
New research from psychologists in Scotland and the Czech Republic has revealed that eating this sulfurous bulb could improve your body odor.

Pregnancy Brain: The Expectant Mom's Guide

By Jordan Gaines Lewis, Ph.D. on November 10, 2015 in Brain Babble
Does “pregnancy brain” actually exist? There’s no doubt that many changes are happening to a woman’s body during pregnancy, but how do these changes affect (or originate in) the brain?

Her Nose Knows

By Maureen Seaberg on November 03, 2015 in Sensorium
Scientists are beginning to study supersmellers like talented artist Carrie Barcomb.

6 Ways to (Tactfully) Bring Up Personal Hygiene Issues

By Kerry Patterson on October 12, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
Set the tone in helping an awkward discussion go quickly and smoothly.

Do Social Odors Build Cities?

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on October 02, 2015 in Sensoria
Is your smell communicating everything about you, from your state of mind to the foods and drugs you take? Learn how the invisible sense of smell influences every aspects of your daily life.