Friday, March 27, 2009

Your Nose Knows - Improving Concentration and Learning

There is evidence that fragrances may also
improve concentration and learning. 

from The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.
"Unlike our other senses, our sense of smell has its very own short pathway from the nose to the brain. Have you ever whiffed bubble gum and a memory of childhood floated through your head? We have an immediate reaction to fragrances because they are processed right next door to both the emotional center and the memory center of the brain.

Since our sense of smell registers on our most basic systems, it has an effect on our Throttle-Down System. When smelling fragrances we like, we take slow, deep breaths and so we also take in more oxygen. As we have seen, these two processes increase our energy level. There is evidence that fragrances may also improve concentration and learning.

In one study, two groups of subjects were asked to do connect-the-dots puzzles. One group was then asked to sniff a fragrance. Then both groups were asked to redo the puzzles. The group that had sniffed the fragrance finished 30 percent faster.

In another study of stress response, subjects who were showing signs of stress were given a whiff of spiced apple. This was followed by an increase of alpha brain waves, which indicated a relaxed alert state."

I love finding tidbits on smell and scent in unexpected places!

This from Koku TV the Ballet of Bubblegum

watercolor: Sideways Snake Lura Astor
photo: Big Apple Cafe New Zealand Brisbane Pom