How Smells Can Trigger Our Memories

 
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Why is it that a smell can bring on a flood of emotion or spark a vivid memory?

In an article by Psychology Today, “Smells Ring Bells: How Smell Triggers Memories and Emotions”, it is explained that unlike the senses of sound, sight and touch, our sense of smell is directly connected to the amygdala and hippocampus in the brain, which are strongly implicated in the processing of emotion and memory.

“A decade ago, Herz and colleagues at Brown University tested whether there was a correlation between the emotional intensity of a memory triggered by a smell and activation in the amygdala. Participants first described a positive memory triggered by a particular perfume.”

The participants were exposed to both visual stimuli of the perfume bottle and olfactory stimuli (smell) and showed a greater activity in the brain in the areas regulating emotion and memories when smelling.

It is important to remember that memories associated with smell are a conditioned response. When first experiencing a smell, your brain creates the link between it and an event, person or moment.

This is why we often smell a perfume or scent and immediately think of someone we know or love. It’s why mothers are often told to place an item of their clothing near their baby to help comfort them or why we like wearing our partners t-shirt when they are away.

We can’t wait to introduce you to the amazing world of natural perfumes and help you create new memories!

Source: Psychology Today