The tag has no usage guidance.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
0answers
34 views

When and why did humans start disliking the way we naturally smell? [closed]

Like many animals, humans produce pheromones as well as other scents from sweating, bacteria, etc. Many of these scents are used throughout the animal kingdom for mate choice, recognition of ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Are there electron or proton receptors in our nose?

We can easily smell chlorine gas and its irritating odour, but we cannot smell oxygen gas. Do few protons and electrons make such difference to our olfactory receptors?
1
vote
0answers
25 views

How do our smell receptors detect and tell apart exhaust or cigarette smoke, or other man-made chemicals?

Somehow we can tell apart exhaust gas and cig smoke, yet neither of those would have existed when we evolved. How is it that we can sense chemical compounds that we've only synthesized recently?
5
votes
1answer
40 views

Does the human body metabolize what it smells, even in trace amounts?

I conjectured to a friend that some small amount of anything we smell is likely metabolized by the body. He disagreed. My thinking is that, if you are smelling something, some portion of molecules are ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

How are smell and taste in fish differentiated?

The senses of taste and smell in different fish classes are described as two distinct senses; smell is mediated by the nasal openings, and taste by epithelial taste buds. They are both forms of ...
5
votes
1answer
58 views

Does our nose detect only if there is change in odor?

If I enter a room with certain odor, I can sense the odor. However, if I stay there for some time I cannot sense it anymore. A new entrant to the room can still smell it or I have to leave the room ...
0
votes
2answers
493 views

How to design an experiment with scent triggered memory recall in humans?

I've recently learned that scents can trigger memory recall in humans, and am thinking about setting up an experiment where I would attempt to induce memory recall through exposure to scents. In ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

How many different smells can a human recognize?

How many different smells can a human recognize? If the space of smells is not discrete, how many dimensions it has (for example, the space of colors is three-dimensional).
4
votes
2answers
817 views

What is a “pure odorant”?

This article about testing for Alzheimer's, via changes in the ability to smell, said: She thought of peanut butter because, she said, it is a “pure odorant” that is only detected by the ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Will a garter snake eat unusual prey if made to smell like something normal?

I have noticed that my garter snake only eats after it has smelled it's prey to make sure it is a slug, and it doesn't matter whether it's moving or not. If I were to coat, say, a caterpillar with ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Are similar smells usually based on similar chemicals?

Building off of this question: Why does freshly cut grass smell like a watermelon?, is it usually the case that things that we perceive as having similar smells are, in fact, the same or a similar ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does freshly cut grass smell like a watermelon?

I found that, when I smell watermelon aroma outdoors, someone nearby has mowed the grass. Is there an underlying basis?
6
votes
2answers
972 views

Why dogs move their noses when smelling?

I read on Wikipedia that: The wet nose, or rhinarium, is essential for determining the direction of the air current containing the smell. Cold receptors in the skin are sensitive to the cooling of ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

How is olfactory acuity rated/measured?

Acuity of one's sight is rated on the 20/20 scale. An online search appeared to indicate there is no comparable 'standard' to rate olfactory acuity. How is acuity of the olfactory system rated?