New study shows that people who can smell a rat have better memory and ability to remember facts about animals
NEW YORK (AP) When it comes to smell, humans are a little bit smarter than we think.
A new study suggests that the ability to smell a familiar smell is linked to greater recall of information and greater accuracy in recalling facts about the animal.
People who are more able to smell odors can recall facts about an animal or the place where it was found, such as the species of its fur or its size.
But the scientists say their study doesn’t prove a relationship between smell and memory or recall of facts.
It’s still possible that there’s something else going on between people and their noses.
“We know from animal studies that people with more sense of smell are more likely to be good at learning about animals, and we’re looking for some other factor to explain that,” said study co-author Eric Kandel, a behavioral scientist at the University of California, Davis.
“This study suggests it’s a bit of both.”
Scientists found that people in a group of volunteers who were trained to sniff out odors were more likely than those who weren’t to remember or recall facts related to the animal they were sniffing.
The team also compared the memory of people trained to detect odors with that of people who didn’t, as well as volunteers who didn and those who didn�t.
The researchers found that training people to sniff smelled made them remember fewer facts about that animal than people who were not trained to do so.
The people who had to learn to smell were more accurate in remembering the smell.
The ability to detect the odor of an animal can help people recognize a new species, said study lead author Jonathan Hirsch, a psychology professor at the College of the Holy Cross.
People can smell more than 100 different species of mammals and birds, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The scent of a particular animal can be a sign of the species, such a bear, for example.
But it’s also a sign that something is off, he said.
In the study, researchers trained six volunteers to detect different odors, including one that smelled of coffee, another that smelled like a human, and a third that smelled soapy and made a faint sound like a whistle.
Then, the volunteers were asked to pick up a book, such an encyclopedia.
In the study’s last group, participants were asked if they remembered that the book was on the shelf or not.
People with the better ability to spot the odor showed better memory, and those with a lower ability to do the same remembered fewer facts.
Hirsch said he thinks that smells have a very powerful effect on how we learn about the world, and that a better memory is related to a greater ability to learn about animals.
“If you’re trying to figure out if there’s some way that a person can smell something that’s relevant to their world, or whether there’s a connection between a person�s sense of perception and how they learn about other things, it’s probably something to look at,” he said in a phone interview.
“It’s probably not going to be a strong link between smell, but it’s certainly something to investigate.”
The study was published in the journal Science Advances.
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