Your body image can be influenced by smells and sounds

Research finds that our sense of self can be manipulated by certain smells and sounds.

Credit: Olek/Tim UR/kolesnikovserg/Adobe Stock/Big Think
  • Researchers find that there are smells that make us feel thinner and lighter, and other smells that do the opposite.
  • The sounds of our footsteps can have a similar effect.
  • The researchers suggest that sensory stimuli play a part in our self-image and may be subject to beneficial manipulation.
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Does scent motivate your workouts? The answer could be yes

Mice will even run on a wheel in nature. Pheromones help inspire that behavior.

Photo: Viacheslav Iakobchuk / Adobe Stock
  • University of California, Riverside researchers discovered a link between scent and fitness motivation in mice.
  • The vomeronasal organ is activated by the smell of pheromones, influencing sexual behavior and cardiovascular activity.
  • While there's no proof the same connection exists in humans, at least one elite athlete believes a link exists.
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This is your brain on smells

A new study explores how the brain encodes different scents — a topic which scientists know relatively little about, compared to our other senses.

Pixabay
  • Unlike sight and hearing, our sense of smell remains poorly understood.
  • In a new study, scientists used machine learning to categorize thousands of different odors based on chemical properties.
  • By exposing mice to odors and measuring their neural activity, the scientists found that the brain more closely groups together odors that are chemically similar.
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A new perfume can help you smell like space

Ever want to smell like an astronaut? Now you can!

Eau De Space
  • After years of trying, a group has produced the smell of outer space in a perfume.
  • Astronauts have described the smell of space as similar to "ozone," "gunpowder," and "fried steak."
  • Exactly what causes the scent is still debated.
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Lizards develop new chemical language to attract mates in predator-free environments

Researchers decoded the love signals of lizards "spoken" through chemical signals.

Photo Credit: Colin Donihue
  • Scientists discovered that lizards developed novel chemical communication signals when relocated to tiny island groups with no predators.
  • Male lizards began to rapidly produce a new chemical love elixir, not unlike cologne, to call on potential mates.
  • With new technology we're increasingly able to detect and identify the chemicals that make up much of the language of non-human nature.

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