Mem­ory and smell

How It Works - - CONTENTS -

The link be­tween smell and mem­ory has got sci­en­tists won­der­ing whether we can use scents to im­prove our ca­pac­ity to re­mem­ber. Re­searchers at Northum­bria Univer­sity con­ducted stud­ies to find out what hap­pens to our brains when we sense pow­er­ful smells. In one study, they asked 180 vol­un­teers to drink chamomile tea, pep­per­mint tea, or plain hot wa­ter. Then they tested their mood and brain func­tion. Com­pared to wa­ter, chamomile tea made vol­un­teers less at­ten­tive, while pep­per­mint tea im­proved their alert­ness. In a sep­a­rate study, 150 vol­un­teers went into rooms that smelled of rose­mary, laven­der or noth­ing, and they were asked to com­plete a task at a par­tic­u­lar time. Rose­mary im­proved mem­ory, but laven­der made it worse, al­though the vol­un­teers did feel calmer.

Dis­tinc­tive scents trig­ger deep mem­o­ries, af­fect­ing mood and con­cen­tra­tion

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