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:9/22/2017)... , ... September 22, 2017 , ... On Sunday, September ... and 5K honoring Olympian, Florence Joyner, still considered the fastest woman of all time. ... Flo Jo’s daughter, Mary Joyner, will sing the National Anthem. Mary was a ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... ... Fenwick Agency of Plano, TX has announced the commencement of a master charity ... ‘Agents of Change’ movement. The agency pledges to select a new beneficiary every 60 ... who most need help. Their hope is to bring awareness to important local causes ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... and financial setbacks, a senior finds a new lease on life with assistance ... thousands of people resolve their problem with unsecured debt. The senior is one ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... SABRE ... Smart Scholarship Sweepstakes.,  , Molli C., a graduate student from Sonora, California, who ... and Administration at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, was selected from a ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... Pullano Law Offices, a Chicago personal injury law ... been selected to serve as President of the North Suburban Bar Association for 2017-2018. ... Dinner hosted by the NSBA at the North Shore Country Club in Glenview, IL, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that uses pulsed ...   ... Jim Bertolina, ... Tom Tefft ... medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and business development ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... PARIS and NEW YORK , Sept. 12, ... ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, has published the first annual ... the CSR performance of more than 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based ... years 2015 and 2016. ... EcoVadis Global CSR Risk & Performance Index ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , Sept. 9, 2017  Eli Lilly ... key primary and secondary endpoint data for lasmiditan, an ... migraine, which demonstrated statistically significant improvements compared to placebo ... be highlighted today at the 18th Congress of the ... . "The data presented today demonstrate lasmiditan,s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: