Navigation Links
Human Noses Sort Out Strangers, Friends
Date:12/15/2007

Brain's fear centers also activate when scenting a stranger, study finds

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Dogs aren't the only ones who can sniff out interlopers.

Humans have a far more sophisticated sense of smell than previously believed and can use their nose to differentiate between a friend and a stranger, say Canadian researchers at the McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI).

While placed in a PET scanner, study volunteers were asked to identify four different odors: their own, a friend's; a stranger's; and a normal or common everyday odor. The PET scan results showed that body odors are processed by an entirely different nerve pathway in the brain than normal/common odors.

The researchers also found that a stranger's body odor activates the same brain regions (amygdala and insular cortex) that respond to fear and danger.

"Our study demonstrates that the olfactory system has preferential processing for behaviorally important stimuli," lead investigator Dr. Johan Lundstrom, former postdoctoral fellow at the MNI, said in a prepared statement.

"This means that stimuli that are perceived as very important for us -- either for our survival, finding food, or [they] are carrying other important signals, such as mate selection signals -- are processed faster and more accurately by specialized neuronal networks. It is known that the auditory and visual systems work in much the same way, and we have now demonstrated this for the olfactory system," said Lundstrom, currently Assistant Member at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

"This explains why participants perceived a stranger's body odor as more intense and less pleasant than the other odors. A stranger's body odor is a behaviorally important stimulus, because it is unfamiliar and might signal danger. Therefore, the brain has developed a mechanism to ensure that it grabs our attention," Lundstrom said.

The study is published in the current issue of Cerebral Cortex.

More information

The Social Issues Research Center in the U.K. has more about the human sense of smell.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: McGill University, news release, Nov. 27, 2007


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Embryonic Stem Cells Repair Human Heart
2. Embryonic Human Stem Cells May Help Repair Heart Muscle, Lab Study Shows
3. Human Papilloma Virus vaccines may decrease chances of oral cancer
4. Investigational Agent Targeting Metabotropic Glutamate 2/3 Receptors Demonstrates Antipsychotic Activity in Humans, Study in Nature Medicine Finds
5. MassMutual Promotes Debra Palermino to Senior Vice President of Human Resources
6. Mylan Announces Appointment of David A. Lillback as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Human Resources
7. Toddler Study Proves Humans Outsmart Apes
8. Human C-reactive protein regulates myeloma tumor cell growth and survival
9. Altered expression of ultraconserved noncoding RNAs linked to human leukemias and carcinomas
10. AtriCure Reports First Human Implant of the Cosgrove-Gillinov Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion System
11. New class of RNA molecules may be important in human cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The ... the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book ... have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader ... been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ... the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the ... “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain ... As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent ... sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million ... by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... products to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From ... probiotic experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile app ... struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. The ... their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage in a ... launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people to sign ... at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017   Montrium , an industry ... today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection ... that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF ... TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research ... increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, ... three leadership team developments today:   ... ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: