Rachel Herz Ph.D.

Rachel Herz, Ph.D., has been conducting research on olfaction, emotion and sensory cognition since 1990, and has been been on the faculty at Brown University since 2000, and part-time faculty in the Psychology Department at Boston College since 2013

Her research has shown how odor-evoked memory is emotionally unique and evocative compared to other memory experiences, how emotional associations can change odor perception, and how odors can be conditioned to emotions and subsequently influence motivated behavior. Her work also addresses how language and context alter olfactory perception, the role of body-odor and fragrance in heterosexual attraction, and mechanisms involved in scent-marketing. Recently, Herz has begun studying how we perceive food and how food-based emotions influence us.  She has published over 82 original research papers, contributed numerous chapters to college textbooks and academic anthologies, and received a number of grants and prestigious awards.

Her research on sensory memory was on display from 2001-2006 in a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit called "Brain: The world inside your head." In 2007, Rachel’s first popular science book: The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell (William Morrow/Harper-Collins) was published and selected as a finalist for the “2009 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books.”  She is also the author of That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion (W.W. Norton & Co), which analyzes the emotion of disgust from culture to neuroscience, and Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food (W.W. Norton & Co), which explores how our senses and psychology govern our perception of food, and the experiences and consequences of eating.

For more information see: www.rachelherz.com

Author of

Smell Life

Smell life is a blog about our amazing sense of smell and the ways in which scent can influence us in myriad aspects of our daily life.

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Author of

Our Senses and Emotions

Unraveling the mysteries.

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