The flower-based chemical compounds that are the basis for the perfumes and colognes we use today have been providing olfactory excitement to pollinating insects and other animals since the mid-Cretaceous Period.
The mammalian brain can form a map of its surroundings based solely on smells.
A survey showed a strong connection between supporting a society led by a despotic leader and being sensitive to body odours like sweat or urine. It might come from a deep-seated instinct to avoid infectious diseases.
The emotional facial expression of others influences how positive or negative we perceive an odour. The basis of this effect seems to be the activity of a brain area that is relevant for smelling and is activated even before we perceive an odour.
Findings suggest that the odor of what we eat may play an important role in how the body deals with calories. If you can't smell your food, you may burn it rather than store it.
Biologists are discovering that many avian species rely on scent for feeding, breeding and other behaviours.
The myth of poor human olfaction is centuries old. And it is due for a thorough debunking.
Passively inhaling orange essential oil could potentially assuage PTSD symptoms in humans.
There are cultures who have developed a smell vocabulary and it is both useful and necessary.
How scientists and historians could begin to identify, analyze and document smells that have cultural significance.
A synthetic biology company says it is developing a fragrance line that will contain smells from plants that have gone extinct in the last 200 years.
Marine plastic debris emits the scent of a sulfurous compound that some seabirds have relied upon for thousands of years to tell them where to find food. This olfactory cue essentially tricks the birds into confusing marine plastic with food.
Man-made noise can have a detrimental impact on an animal’s use of scent – putting them at greater risk of being attacked by predators. What’s becoming increasingly clear is that a lot of other species – mammals, birds, fish, insects and amphibians – are also impacted in all sorts of ways by anthropogenic, or man-made, noise.
Even though we may not be aware of it, the sense of smell influences how adults process emotional and social information to guide their decisions and behavior. Beginning at the age of five, smell also influences children's emotional decisions.
The brain's interpretation of sound is influenced by cues from other senses.
Even when two cultures share the same language and many traditions, their reactions to the same smells can be different. This study reinforces the idea that our brain's processing of odour is not simply its reaction to the chemical compounds that make up the scent. It is influenced both by our previous experience with the scent and our knowledge of what the scent is.
Over one-third of Americans report health problems—from asthma attacks to migraine headaches—when exposed to common fragranced consumer products such as air fresheners, cleaning supplies, laundry products, scented candles, cologne, and personal care products.
A twiner native to southern Africa, Sanderson´s parachute flower (Ceropegia sandersonii), has a particularly cunning strategy for attracting flies for pollination. Its way of ensuring pollination is a complicated ploy involving fraud and imprisonment. These types of deceptive plants that manipulate their visitors and abuse them via pollination without reward are not all that rare. Today researchers estimate that there are around 15,000 such plants.
Male animals, through their invisible chemical "essence," prime female animals for reproduction but with the unfortunate side effect of also hastening females' aging process.
The picture of a plant-pathogen arms race is more complex than previously thought, and in some cases we should think of viruses in a more positive way,