Of all our sensory organs, the sense of smell is often overlooked. While visual, auditory, and tactile perception are important, the olfactory sense also plays a subtle yet meaningful role in our daily lives. The animal brain has an amazing ability to recognize and associate smells entering the nostrils. However, according to a research study at Northwestern University Medicine, the brain is able to predict the smell even before it enters the nostrils. The brain can generate a “predictive template” that leads to expectation of a scent. This amazing ability has played an important role in animal evolution, allowing humans to react faster and more accurately to stimuli in the environment.