Your sense of smell can save you from danger, says Sweden based study; Here’s how

By: |
October 16, 2021 1:06 PM

The research conducted by Karolinska Institute in Sweden suggests that the nerves inside about our nose can send a message to our brain within milliseconds that something smells fishy.

Karolinska Institute in Sweden, ‘Spidey sense’, sense of smell, olfactory nerves, nose sending smell to brain, research on sense of smellThe study was conducted on two groups of participating no-smoking people.

Who wouldn’t want a ‘Spidey sense’ that would perceive danger lurking just around the country and escape it at the right time, which is not limited to smelling gas leaks or burnt food. Looks like nature has already gifted us that strong kind of smell but we have taken it for granted all the while. An interesting study by a Sweden-based institute has found that we can literally smell danger!

The research conducted by Karolinska Institute in Sweden suggests that the nerves inside about our nose can send a message to our brain within milliseconds that something smells fishy.

The study was conducted on two groups of participating no-smoking people. The first group was made to smell perfume of linalool or fruity-smelling ethyl butyrate and then diethyl disulfide which has a garlicky smell and their brain waves were examined. Both the fast processing gamma waves that are formed from attention and memory and beta waves that are generated for making decisions and deliberations were monitored.

The second group with 21 volunteers were also made to smell pleasant and non-so pleasant odours and their physical reactions were studied.

The researchers noticed that the brain deemed a smell as a threat and a message was sent to the motor cortex of our brain within 150 milliseconds to take required action. Gamma and beta waves were seen ‘coupling’ to coordinate in sending the brain a warning.

The reactions that the signals trigger are jerking the head away from the smell, stopping to inhale and the kinds.

The findings of the study that were published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ finds that the ability to detect and react to the smell of a potential threat is a precondition of our and other mammals’ survival.

The study further notes that the olfactory organ occupied five per cent of the human brain and let them distinguish between millions of different smells. A large portion of them are associated with threats for survival. Odour signals reach the brain within 100 to 150 milliseconds after being inhaled.

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