Your sense of smell is more powerful than you think

By: Ben Guarino

Humans have a centuries-old reputation as poor smellers. Though we can see more colors than the average mammal, our noses are simply no match for the questing snouts of rabbits and hounds. Sure, the aromas of coffee and pie are great. But intelligent humans outgrew the need to sniff our way through life. Or so the thinking went.

In a review published Thursday in the journal Science, John McGann, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, argued that this is a flawed perception dating back to the 19th century. He blamed pioneering French anatomist Paul Broca, who wrote that, given the comparatively small olfactory organs in the primate brain, “it is no longer the sense of smell that guides the animal.” As for smelling in apes, humans included, “All that exceeded the needs of this humble function became useless.” [Read more…]

Source: Washington Post

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