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:6/26/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind ... able to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the ... solutions currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the ... closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated ... has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure ... doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys ... peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing ... members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, ... design, development and manufacturing of collagen and mineral ... announced today that Bill Messer has ... Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio of ... devices. Bill joins the Collagen Matrix ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy ... that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share ... formulary and coverage decisions, a move that addresses the ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing ... drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it was added ... reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and global ... is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive ... awareness of our progress in developing drugs for crucial ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: