Get weekly updates via email!
tip of the day SAT 25 OCT 14
Want to get an edge at work? Attend seminars, immersions, and training sessions provided by your office to hone your skills.
  • Good House Keeping
    Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo returns to our cover this September issue and gets candid about money, marriage, and motherhood.
    Good Housekeeping
  • Women's Health
    Drop two sizes fast—with simple exercises you can do at home! This month's ultimate weight-loss special shows you how. Plus, real women share how you, too, can shed and keep off excess weight for good.
    Women's Health
Jennifer Chan, Staff Writer
 
April 05, 2012

Fear Heightens Our Sense of Smell, Study Shows

Research shows that anxiety can put our olfactory senses into overdrive. By Jennifer Chan

You might not be aware of it, but according to a study published in the journal Chemosensory Perception, the more afraid you are, the better your sense of smell—at least, when it comes to identifying negative odors. 

It’s probably not the first thing you’ll notice while you’re shaking in your boots, but looking at things from an evolutionary standpoint, it’s probably not such a bad mechanism to have. Some animals, for example, have a particularly strong sense of smell, which then allows them to locate and escape predators. You might not be able to sniff out your predators as accurately as the other members of the animal kingdom, but what your olfactory senses have to offer is not something to scoff at either. 

To test the theory, researchers recruited 14 young adults and exposed them to three different types of smells: neutral pure odor, neutral odor mixture, and negative odor mixture. While they were in a magnetic resonance image scanner, they were then asked to detect the presence or absence of these smells. During the experiment, researchers also observed the skin’s ability to conduct electricity—a measure of arousal level—and their breathing patterns. After the task, the participants were then asked to describe their level of anxiety while researchers obtained brain images.

Results? As the participants reported greater anxiety, their sense of smell was also heightened. Based on the other tests, researchers were able to conclude that fear also heightened emotional arousal to smell-induced threats. The study brings forth certain implications that need further review. At this point, it’s probably safe to say that as far as survival skills go, you’re not exactly in bad shape.

(Photo by dolar via sxc.hu

Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
COMMENTS
Name :
Email :
Website :
Comment :
Security Image
 
 
NOTE: FemaleNetwork.com is a CLEAN ZONE. Editors reserve the right to delete obscene comments.
Filter comments by:
  • Be the first one to comment...
Filter comments by:
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
follow us
Jennifer Chan
Staff Writer
Jennifer Chan was a contributing writer for Female Network for two years before formally joining the team as a staff writer in July 2012... Read more...
Latest Articles by This Author
LATEST Articles
MOST READ Articles
What Moderate Drinking Can Do for You + 5 Cocktails You Can Make At Home
A new study shows why a bit of booze may be good for your health.   Oct 21, 2014 
Drinking Too Much Soda May Age You, Says Study
It's time to lower your fizzy intake.  Oct 20, 2014 
Lose Weight When You Eat This Fruit Every Day
Here's how you can shed those extra pounds.   Oct 16, 2014 
Here's The Latest Detoxifying Add-On to Cold-Pressed Juices
It's neither a fruit nor a vegetable.  Oct 15, 2014 
5 Things You Should Know About Hepatitis B
Be tested. Be vaccinated. Be treated.   Oct 10, 2014 
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT