Do humans have a good sense of smell?

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#1 11 May, 2017 - 23:10
Joined: 2 years 10 months ago

Do humans have a good sense of smell?

This article was interesting.

"Let’s obliterate the myth that humans have a bad sense of smell"

“The human olfactory system is excellent,” McGann writes in a paper out today in Science that reviews the wide array of evidence on the human sense of smell. “We’re like lots of mammals with a perfectly good sense of smell, and if we paid more attention to it, I think we’d realize how important it is to us,” he tells me.

In fact, when you actually test humans on their ability to smell specific compounds, we’re pretty discerning. We can smell particles that are just two atoms large. And we can tell more than a trillion distinct odors apart.

Full article

Humans have a good sense of smell
In comparison to that of other animals, the human sense of smell is widely considered to be weak and underdeveloped. This is, however, an unproven hypothesis. In a Review, McGann traces the origins of this false belief back to comparative 19th-century neuroanatomical studies by Broca. A modern look at the human olfactory bulb shows that it is rather large compared with those of rats and mice, which are presumed to possess a superior sense of smell. In fact, the number of olfactory bulb neurons across 24 mammalian species is comparatively similar, with humans in the middle of the pack, and our sense of smell is similar to that of other mammals.


18 May, 2017 - 02:25
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

I always wondered if it was true indeed. Smell seems to be very important to us, as a certain smell can bring back many deep memories. Also chosing a partner appears to be very much dependant of smell.

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