Study: Human Brain Evolved to Predict Smells

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.

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