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 even suss out the complex, like sexual compatibility.

Recent posts on Scent

Dogs: When They Smell Their Pee They Know It's "Me"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A novel study about self-recognition by dog researcher Alexandra Horowitz taps into what's happening in a dog's brain when their nose goes to work sniffing different odors.

What Makes a Dog Notice a Person

Is it the sight of you, the sounds you make, or your scent that is most likely to make a dog aware that you are nearby?
Dreamstime

Bathroom Reading

Why don’t your own poops smell?

Like Us, They Kill and Consume. But Could They Save Us?

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on June 29, 2017 in Sensoria
Like humans, ants are eusocial and chemical communicators. However, we are just discovering their unique abilities that have cared for the planet for millennia.

If for Just One Day We Could Smell as a Dog Does

Imagine, for a moment, walking into a large gathering and instantly, with just a sniff or two, knowing intimately more about the people around you.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 8

By Michael Jawer on June 27, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
Beyond the five senses we humans know, some of the sensory capacities more prominent in other creatures may be intimately connected with health, danger, and emotion generally.

How Our Bodies Age (Part 3)

What changes in our nervous system can we expect as we age? And what are the implications?

Pissing Matches in Dogs: Territorial, Lots of Fun, or Both?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 29, 2017 in Animal Emotions
We really don't know what dogs are talking about when they over-mark or counter-mark as it becomes a game of peeing to their heart's content. Surely, they can and do piss us off.

The Hidden Tug of Marketing

By Holly Parker, Ph.D. on April 27, 2017 in Your Future Self
Thanks to diligent research, marketers know how to pull our strings while we don’t have a clue it’s happening.

The Psychology of Queuing

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 04, 2017 in A Sideways View
Why is waiting in line so miserable?

Why Do Dogs React to Cats?

Is it the sight of the cat, the sound of a cat, or the smell of a cat that excites dogs the most? The answer might surprise you.

Poetry Lights Up Your Brain Like a Favorite Song, fMRI Shows

New research on the link between happy or scary musical cues—and the difference between reading poetry or prose—offer new clues about how the brain responds to music and poetry.

Food and Sex

Food, sex and the pleasure principle

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.
Pinterest Gretchen Rubin

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.
unsplash.com/pexels.com

Are You Ready for a New Taste?

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on October 01, 2016 in The Power of Rest
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

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.